In the San Diego Padres’ past 30 innings, they’ve scored three runs.
Jorge Alfaro’s fantastic walk-off three-run home run got the job done on Mother’s Day, but there were no such heroics on Monday night. The Padres picked up just three hits, none of which went for extra bases, and the Padres lost another game due to their dismal offense. The Cubs came into the game on a five-game losing streak. Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks came into the game with a terrible 5.64 ERA, but none of it mattered, as the Padres looked like a minor league team at the plate.
Rookie pitcher MacKenzie Gore made his final argument for why he deserved to maintain his spot once the rotation shrinks from six to five. The game got off to a poor start for Gore, as Willson Contreras led off the contest with a single before Seiya Suzuki doubled him home. The Cubs maintained their one-run lead before Ian Happ’s two-out single brought Patrick Wisdom in the fourth. Gore also surrendered a run in the fifth, as Contreras and Jayson Heyward started off the inning with singles, Suzuki grounded into a double play, but Heyward came in the back door to tag Gore for his third run of the game. It was a tricky game for Gore, as the Cubs picked up seven hits off of him, as he only had one inning where he retired all three batters he faced.
Gore did manage to strike out six batters, and he did not walk any Cubs, working efficiently. Gore also touched 98 miles per hour on a fastball to Nico Hoerner, showing his newfound velocity. Third base coach Matt Williams handled post-game activities, as Bob Melvin is still struggling with a gastrointestinal issue. Williams talked about how Gore had evolved, praising his breaking balls, but he pointed out that the Cubs handled his fastballs well. After Nick Martinez’s fantastic start last time out, it seems more likely Gore will return to El Paso for his next outing. Williams said that it was not an easy decision regarding who will lose their rotation spot, but it was a good issue to have.
The Padres’ dismal performance at the plate came as a result of Hendricks inducing weak contact. Hendricks did not throw a pitch above 90 miles per hour, befuddling the Padres batters throughout the evening. He managed to avoid the Padres barrels for most of the evening, but San Diego did get unlucky. The Friars’ bats combined for four batted balls with an expected batting average of over .600. Three of those four had an expected batting average of over .800, but the Padres picked up just one hit. They would have been expected to pick up 3.25 hits, but they drastically underperformed. Over the game, the Padres expected batting average produced 6.52 hits, but they did get unlucky. They never got a handle of Hendricks.
The lack of skill batting success was certainly not the homage to Tony Gwynn that the Padres would have wanted. Mr. Padre would have turned 62 today. Manny Machado honored the late Gwynn by wearing his jersey in warm-ups, but it did not matter as neither Machado nor anyone else in the Padres lineup honored him with their play on the field.
It was not a good day on defense either, as Eric Hosmer put together terrible footwork on Jake Cronenworth’s throw to first. Cronenworth was charged with the error, which allowed a run to score, but the mistake was Hosmer’s.
After Gore, Padres manager Bob Melvin went to Craig Stammen out of the bullpen. Stammen went two innings and gave up an unearned run after the Hosmer misplay. Dinelson Lamet continued to struggle as a pair of runs in an inning pushed his ERA north of nine. Ray Kerr finished the game out with a quick ninth inning.
The Padres’ offense stayed dreadful, as they’ve scored in one of their last 30 innings. They were shut down tonight, and they haven’t scored more than three runs in their last five games.