What you need to know:
A Tyler Chatwood start on Friday the 13th for the superstitious is well, not ideal. But while there were certainly moments tonight, like hitting the pitcher, that was indicative of his rocky first half, there was never a time where it seemed like the Chatwood train would fly off the tracks. He ran into some trouble in the first two innings that resulted in three runs, however given the Cubs predilection to coming from behind to win games, this game never felt like it was about to out of control. Chatwood pitched five complete innings, struck out two, walked three, and hit one. The bullpen would go on to strike 12 men out. Pedro Strop was the game’s King of K, as he struck out the top of the order in the bottom of the ninth without breaking a sweat. The Cubs would go on to win their first west coast extra innings game of the week.
Anthony Rizzo’s reprised the role of lead-off man, a move certainly made to shake things up and him out of his funk. It may have done the trick, as he went 3-for-5, with one single and two left field doubles, the latter of which plated the pinch running Jason Heyward to tie the game in the top of the 9th. The greatest leadoff hitter of all time may be returning to form.
The air Javier Baez carries himself while on the bases is a discombobulating force for opposing teams that few, if any, are able to reckon with. Once Baez reached first on an infield hit in the top of the 10th everyone watching knew there was no way he could be contained to first base. With the stakes raised Baez was running as soon as he possibly could. The Padres would have been better offer conceding the base to Baez, as Austin Hedges’ attempt to throw out him stealing resulted in an errant throw to center, where Manuel Margot mistakenly lobbed the ball behind him and provided Baez with the window he needed to run home. This was quintessential Baez. His presence and panache on the base path are enough to cause discomfort in opposing players, and it often creates scenarios for him to capitalize on their misplays.
Top WPA Play: With two outs and only a strike left to spare in the game, Anthony smacked a double into the left-center field gap that scored a pinch-running Jason Heyward. (+.328)
Bottom WPA Play: You could not have faulted anyone for thinking Carl Edwards would only strike out people till the end of time, so it was a shock when he gave up a double, then a line drive RBI single to Austin Hedges in the bottom eighth, briefly giving the Padres the lead. (-.287)
Lead photo courtesy Jake Roth—USA Today Sports Images