Well that was deflating.
Rarely does a Tuesday regular season game in June between a fourth place team (the Padres) and a club barely over .500 (the Cubs) garner so much attention.
But one day after Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo barreled into Austin Hedges and injured the Padres catcher in a controversial collision at the plate, many fans expected San Diego to retaliate.
On Monday, Padres manager Andy Green called Rizzo’s decision to “deviate from the pathway” to home plate and hit his catcher “egregious” and “a cheap shot."
Cubs manager Jim Maddon defended his player’s decision and sounded convinced that Rizzo had done nothing wrong.
San Diego sports talk radio and social media was a buzz all day leading up to the first pitch with many fans wondering if Jhoulys Chacin would plunk Rizzo right out the gate.
It was clear there was a “to bean, or not to bean,” question lingering over the rematch with the potential for a baseball brawl after what transpired in the series opener.
Especially once word leaked out that Major League Baseball informed both clubs that Rizzo did violate the home-plate collision rule but that he would not be suspended.
The first pitch by Chacin to Rizzo (the Cubs new leadoff hitter) in the bottom of the first inning was taken low for a ball.
The second one made contact.
Contact with Rizzo’s bat.
The baseball landed over the centerfield ivy and the Cubs took an immediate 1-0 lead as Rizzo trotted around the bases after slugging his 17th homer of the season.
A fan base looking for a response – or at least something to get excited about other than which high draft pick could be multiple years away from the show – instead had to stomach a disheartening, 4-0 loss in which the Padres managed just four measly singles and a double.
Before the rematch Tuesday, Green went on San Diego’s 1090 AM radio station and stated the Padres would not seek retaliation for the Rizzo-Hedges crash.
"What do you accomplish by hitting somebody? You accomplish nothing," Green said. "You put a man on first base, and you give them an opportunity to win a baseball game. ... I think it's absolutely asinine to even take that approach."
After Tuesday’s defeat, Chacin admitted that Green “asked me to give my word I wouldn’t hit (Rizzo) on purpose.”
Green and Chacin stayed true to their word, but a number of Padres fans were pretty outspoken on social media that the Padres missed a giant opportunity to make a statement and standup for their catcher.
On top of that, Hedges did not play Tuesday as a precaution after suffering that thigh bruise during Monday’s collision.
Luis Torrens served as the starting backstop and collected two of the team’s base hits.
Chacin finished with just two earned runs allowed on five hits in six innings but with no run support he saw his record fall to 6-6 with the loss.
In other injury news, Yangervis Solarte was pulled from the starting lineup after hurting his left oblique taking a swing before the game.
Chase D’Arnaud started in Solarte’s place and batted cleanup.
Green implied that Solarte is headed to the disabled list and that the club has multiple options to pick his replacement from Triple-A El Paso.
The recently demoted Ryan Schimpf and rookie Carlos Asuaje would be prime candidates to be recalled to take Solarte’s active roster spot.
Wednesday’s getaway game at Wrigley Field begins at 11:10 a.m.
San Diego sends Miguel Diaz to the mound while the Cubs will hand the ball to Eddie Butler.