On the same day that Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer tied a MLB-record with 20 strikeouts, Padres lefty Drew Pomeranz struck out 10 batters over the course of 6 shutout innings.
One swing by Christian Bethancourt was enough to give the Padres a 1-0 victory in game 2 of their Wednesday doubleheader at Wrigley Field. Earlier in the day, San Diego defeated the Cubs 7-4 thanks to a late Brett Wallace homer.
Bethancourt obliterated a pitch by John Lackey in the 5th inning of game 2. He knew he hit it out too because he stood and admired it for a few seconds which Lackey did not take too kindly. Lackey had not allowed a hit until Bethancourt redirected that pitch out of the ballpark.
Kevin Quackenbush, Brad Hand, and Fernando Rodney helped navigate the final 3 innings. The trio stranded 4 Cubs on the basepaths and helped hand the Cubs their first back-to-back losses of the year.
Hand struck out the side in the 8th, but had the added pressure of having to work out of a bases-loaded jam after two walks and a rare error by shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
Cubs fans must be infuriated after seeing Rodney notch two saves in one day against his former team.
The reliever from the Dominican Republic struggled last season with the Cubs and Mariners – so much so that some fans coined the hashtag “FernandoRodneyExperience” whenever he struggled at Wrigley.
Rodney however fired his second invisible arrow into the sky after giving up a single to Javier Baez in the 9th. He is now 10-for-10 in save opportunities this year and has yet to allow an earned run.
You can make a strong argument Pomeranz has been the Padres best starting pitcher thus far.
The southpaw raised his strikeout total to 51 on the season after silencing the Cubs lineup. That's the 11th highest total in the bigs. Pomeranz also improved to 4-3 and lowered his ERA to just 1.80.
The Padres continue their 7-game road trip in Milwaukee on Thursday.
James Shields (1-5) opposes Jimmy Nelson (4-2) when the two teams begin their 4-game series.