Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 6, Padres 0 – April 25, 2023
That game was tense as all get out for so many innings, and I just want to say god bless the offense for putting up those insurance runs in the 8th. At least made me more comfortable for the 9th.
Nico Hoerner extended his on-base streak to 20 games with his bases-clearing triple in the 9th, too:
Justin Steele was awesome tonight, even if you might otherwise look at a 5.1 inning outing as too short to be “awesome.” The reality is that this Padres lineup is full of guys who’ll grind you down and make you really work, so it’s hard to be efficient (without getting clobbered). It was, therefore, very impressive for Steele to get through 5.1 scoreless innings.
Great work from the bullpen tonight (Adbert Alzolay finished up the 6th for Steele), even if there were some tense moments. Mark Leiter Jr. put a couple on base in the 7th, including a dreaded two-strike HBP on the one guy in the Padres’ lineup hitting with a wet noodle. Thankfully, a lineout got him out of it.
Keegan Thompson threw three *PERFECT* pitches to Fernando Tatis Jr. to open the 8th, and quickly got Juan Soto to pop out. And then he lost his control from there, walking Manny Machado on four pitches and then walking Xander Bogaerts. It was a pretty terrifying moment. Thankfully, Jake Cronenworth followed with a fly ball that didn’t have the distance. So I’ll mostly just think about those pristine first three pitches of the appearance. Seriously. It was art.
You know what else was art? That night at the plate from YAN FREAKING GOMES …