- Heads up record on July 19th between Cubs and Padres: 2-2
- Run Differential: +6 Chicago Cubs
The most recent July 19th matchup between the Cubs and Padres came in 1980, and neither team was playing particularly well that season. The Cubs came into the matchup 36-50 and the Padres were 38-52. The Friars had beaten the Cubs the day before 2-1.
Let’s set the scene before we jump into the game. The #1 song in America was Billy Joel’s ‘It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me’ and #1 at the box office, for the 8th time in 9 weeks was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Don’t worry boys and girls, time is a flat circle, and this game from 1980 is still gonna connect us to 2019.
The Cubs started the game not so differently than far too many games we’ve seen this year: a fielding error keeping an inning alive and allowing the opponent an opportunity. An error by Ivan de Jesus with bases juiced on a ball hit by future HOFer Dave Winfield allowed a run to score, kept the bases packed, and opened the flood gates. It was 4-0 Padres before the Cubs came to bat. The Cubs made it 4-2 in the bottom of the 2nd when catcher Tim Blackwell went deep with Jesus Figueroa on base. It was one of six home runs he’d hit in his 10-year career, making him a 1980’s Paul Bako, which is awesome. Blackwell also had a king-sized mustache to boot.
With two outs in the bottom of the 3rd, the Cubs found themselves with the bases loaded, and after back-to-back 2-RBI singles by Steve Dillard and Jesus Figueroa, the Cubs were up 6-4. The Padres tied it up in the next half-inning on a solo shot from Gene Richards and then a HOF 1-2, with Dave Winfield scoring Ozzie Smith on a sac fly. The score would remain tied to the 9th, but that didn’t mean there were fireworks before then.
We jump forward to the bottom of the 7th. The Cubs have Bill Buckner leading off the inning. He hit the ball to shortstop Ozzie Smith, who got the ball to first. In a close call at the base, Billy Buck was called out at first. He elected to voice his displeasure and was invited to take an early trip to the showers, care of “Cowboy” Joe West! Want the official On Tap Sports Net take on Joe West? My man @Comiskey22 articulated it beautifully here earlier in the season.
The Padres went ahead 7-6 in the top of the 9th on an RBI single from Gene Tenace, and the Cubs had three outs to tie the game or take the lead. They got right to work, as pinch-hitter Jerry Martin lead off the inning with a single. A foul pop and a flyout quickly brought the Cubs to two outs, so they called on another bat from the bench. This time it was Ken Henderson, who drew a walk. Since pinch-hitting worked so well, they called on a pinch-runner to replace Henderson, and that was Mike Tyson (no face tattoo sadly). It was time for someone who actually started the game for the Cubs to make some magic, and 1B Cliff Johnson answered the bell. He sent a ball into LF, doubling and more importantly scoring both Martin and Tyson. The Cubs walk it off, game, blouses.
All stats and dates referenced courtesy: baseball-reference.com