Live from Padres Instructs Day II

The Padres traveled to Mesa on Saturday to face the Chicago Cubs. While they hit the ball better than they did on Friday, they still took a loss when a two run lead was blown in the eighth inning.

Javis Diaz led off the game with a triple after the centerfielder misplayed the ball and scored on an RBI groundout by Cedric Hunter. He would later hit a ball to left field with Jesus Lopez gunned down at the plate. Lopez doubled down the left field line to reach base and moved to third on a sacrifice fly.

Craig Cooper hit a two out solo homer in the first inning over the ivy-fenced wall in left center. He would also triple to centerfield and draw a walk, driving in two of the three Padres runs.

Matt Bush pulled a two-strike pitch down the left field line for a double, choking up with two strikes – an approach the Padres' brass preached to him over the last several days. He would line out hard to the centerfielder in his next at bat.

Wade LeBlanc gave up a run in his lone inning of work as the starter. After he exited the game, LeBlanc had a long talk with Bob Cluck about his performance. The lefty-hander topped out at 87 and it was a leadoff walk that haunted him. LeBlanc, working out of the stretch, showed two different deliveries to the plate. He used a slide-step to cut down on the time it took him to get the ball to the plate and used a leg kick – and was subsequently abused by two stolen bases with the higher leg kick.

Aaron Breit did not allow a run in his two innings of work, walking two. Breit topped out at 89 on the radar gun. Pascual Juan got the first two batters he faced, sprinkling in a fastball that hit 93. He then walked a batter and an error allowed another to reach base. His emotions were spinning out of control until he got a well-timed visit from pitching coach Wally Whitehurst. He induced a fly out to end the inning.

Jackson Quezada pitched two perfect innings, striking out three. The right-hander explained afterwards that he was working on fastball command and his changeup – a relatively new pitch in his repertoire.

Andy Underwood allowed a single in his lone inning of work. The right-hander had been shutdown in Eugene due to a tired arm and said before his outing that, "my arm feels much better now."

R.J. Rodriguez came on in the eighth inning and lasted two-thirds of an inning, giving up a one-out solo homer before yielding two straight two-out walks, a single to bring the score to 3-2, hitting a batter and yielding a single that plated two runs to give Chicago the lead. John Madden came on to record the final out with two runners left stranded.

Catcher Brian Hernandez twisted his left knee in the eighth inning and had to leave the game, replaced by Clint Naylor. He was able to walk on it and received ice treatment and will be reevaluated after the weekend.


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