Despite early struggles by Darvish, Padres prevail on Tatis homer

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Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Petco Park- San Diego, California

The San Diego Padres came into Monday’s game with the Cubs with a sense of anger after dropping their series late in the game on Sunday in San Francisco.

With a few outs remaining in the game, the Padres suffered a heartbreaking loss. Ha-Seong Kim made an uncharacteristic error on a tag in the eighth inning. It was Kim’s second error of the game, and it doomed the Padres in the end. They lost by a run to the Giants, thus handing the Giants a series victory.

Yu Darvish started Monday’s game looking to contain his former club.

The Cubs got to Darvish in the second inning, though, as he struggled with command and was the victim of a very tight strike zone. Several of Darvish’s pitches were tracked as strikes on Strike Zone but were called balls by home plate umpire James Hoye. The veteran made it through three innings and was relieved by Pedro Avila in the top of the fourth inning. Avila did not do much better as he coughed up four earned runs in the inning, capped off by a double off the bat of Cristopher Morel and a triple by Dansby Swanson.

Javier Assad was effective in changing speeds for the Cubs. The 26-year-old right-handed pitcher went five-plus innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks. Asaad struck out seven batters in the game. He was cruising into the sixth inning with an 8-0 lead, but the Padres struck for seven runs off the Cubs bullpen in the inning.

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With the score 8-7, Cubs, you got a sense at Petco Park that something special was about to happen. The Padres rallied again in the seventh but could not push the tieing run across the plate. All that changed with two outs in the 8th inning, as Fernando Tatis sent a hanging slider deep into the left field stands for a two-run homer and a 9-8 Padres lead. “My reaction was to take care of it. I was looking for a fastball, but he threw me a good pitch, and I was able to throw my barrel out there,” Tatis said after the game.


Jackson Merrill and Jake Cronenworth were huge in the win for the Padres as well. Merrill was 1-for-2 on the night with a walk and scored on the Tatis homer. Cronenworth slugged his first homer of the season in the sixth inning, which started the scoring off for the Padres.

It was a miraculous win for the Padres, and they needed it very badly. The offense came back in a game that was seemingly out of reach. For a team that is struggling collectively to swing the bats, Monday’s win was huge for their psyche. The bullpen also held the Cubs in check after Avila’s blowup in the fourth. That is another positive thing for the Friars. “Winners find a solution,” manager Mike Shildt said after the game.

All in all, it was an outstanding effort by the Padres and something to build on moving forward.

The team will look to get a second win from the Cubs on Tuesday as Joe Musgrove takes the mound for the Padres. Game time is 7:05 PM at Petco Park.

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