The Cubs and Brewers felt each other out for the first two innings but the Brewers have drawn first blood with two outs in the top of the third.
Orlando Arcia led the inning off with a single, and the pitcher, Jhoulys Chacin, sacrificed him to second. It was an interesting play as there were two strikes when Chacin laid that bunt down. It was hit hard and may very well have rolled foul if Anthony Rizzo had let it go. If that had happened, he’d be out on a strikeout and Arcia would be stuck at first base. Honestly, though: almost all players in Rizzo’s shoes field that ball and tag Chacin out to guarantee the out.
Arcia reaching second was key, however, as he advanced to third on a Lorenzo Cain groundout. It was a groundout, by the way, that would’ve been a single up the middle against most teams, but Javier Baez ranged far up the middle from short to cut it off and throw Cain out. So, runner on third, two out, Christian Yelich up to bat.
Do you walk Yelich here? I know a lot of teams would. The Cardinals sure as heck took that approach against the Brewers last weekend when they played each other and many other clubs might be inclined to treat the likely NL MVP winner like he’s Barry Bonds or something and let someone else beat you. Jose Quintana was not given such orders, however. He delivered a fat 1-1 pitch which Yelich served up to right-center, driving in Arcia and putting the Brewers ahead 1-0:
And on we go.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.