The Chicago Cubs rode the hot bat of Anthony Rizzo on Friday night, as they edged the Padres out by a score of 6-5. The Padres tied the contest up in the top of the 8th and then blew it just minutes later. The highlight of the day for the Cubs was a 3rd inning grand slam to erase a 2-0 deficit early in the contest.
That was the difference in the game, as the Padres would have won if they escaped that jam. Adison Russell was able to score on a miscue by the Padres to go ahead 6-5. That was the game-winner, with a double play ball getting under the glove of Eric Hosmer to dribble away to allow Russell to scamper home for the go-ahead score.
Good but not good enough has been a recurring theme for the Padres in 2019. Miscues and unforced errors have also been at the heart of the Padres’ season as well. It’s all added up to a record of 46-51, which puts them 16.5 games behind the Dodgers for 1st in the NL West.
That’s too big of a hill to climb for them, but their alive in what is a close race for a wildcard out in the National League. What makes it interesting is how close everyone is at the moment. Otherwise, none of them are playing great baseball.
The Nationals are the first team in, while the Phillies and Cardinals are tied for the other wildcard. A record of 51-47 would be good enough for the postseason if it started today. Joey Lucchesi will see the first pitch Saturday for the Padres, while the Cubs will go with veteran Jose Quintana. Head below for our free Padres vs. Cubs pick.
San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs Pick:
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The Padres are winners in just one of their last seven games. It’s been difficult at a point in the season where it can be make or break for a lot of teams. Fortunately enough for the Padres, no one else in the National League who is in the wildcard race is flying away with anything. At 4.5 games behind, they have enough wiggle room to get hot in August and sneak up on a postseason berth. Beating good teams like the Cubs on the road is going to be vital at this point. Sophomore Joey Lucchesi will be tasked with getting the Padres a win at Wrigley on Saturday afternoon. It’s going to be another scorcher, with temperatures getting into the triple digits.
Lucchesi has been fairly solid for the Padres in 2019, as he goes into Saturday with a 3.92 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 101 innings pitched. He has really taken advantage of pitching in the friendly pitcher’s park of Petco. He holds an ERA of 2.83 with a 1.04 WHIP at home. However, his outings on the road have told a more difficult story. Lucchesi has been rattled for an ERA of 5.79 in 37.1 innings as a visitor. In his lone appearance at Wrigley, he was quite impressive with just 2 earned runs allowed in 5.2 innings last season. Lucchesi did have to escape some jams to get the win, though, as he yielded 7 hits. The Cubs are hitting .333 with a long ball against him in 21 at-bats.
Jose Quintana has yielded a .247 batting average with 5 long balls allowed in 154 at-bats against the Padres. Note that the Cubs have gone 5-0 against the Padres when Quintana is on the bump. He enters with nice work recently, with a 2.84 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 19 innings. Quintana has allowed 3 or less runs in seven of his last eight starts to show a consistent effort for the Cubbies. The Cubs have been a threat at home, with a record of 35-17 while the Padres are just 23-24 on the road in 2019. And with the win yesterday, the Cubs have gone 6-2 in their previous eight matchups against San Diego. Consider the Cubs for an afternoon play on Saturday at Wrigley.