How it happened: On three hours of sleep and pure adrenaline, the Cubs’ Kris Bryant struck out in each of his first three at-bats of his major-league debut and then hit into a force out in his fourth trip. Consecutive RBI hits from Jorge Soler and Anthony Rizzo in the fifth inning gave the Cubs a lead, but Wil Myers’ three-run home run in the seventh put the Padres up for good. Cubs starter Jason Hammel gave up two runs on seven hits over 6⅓ innings. Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected immediately after Myers' home run.
What it means: A look into Bryant’s past shows that a poor debut is simply a challenge to overcome. In his first game at Single-A Boise in 2013, Bryant struck out in all five of his trips to the plate. He still managed to hit eight doubles and four home runs while slugging .692 in 18 games at that level. He did contribute solid defense Friday, starting a double play in the first inning and making a diving catch down the line to prevent extra bases in the fifth inning.
Outside the box: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Bryant was the first Cubs player to make his major league debut in the cleanup spot since Heinz Becker 73 years ago. Entering play Friday, Cubs third basemen were batting a combined .148, lowest in the major leagues, and they had the third-lowest slugging percentage at .259. Cubs third basemen had combined for four hits, while Bryant had nine hits in the early going at Triple-A.
Off beat: While everybody was focused on Bryant, the Cubs’ Jonathan Herrera played some Maddon baseball. First he bunted on a 3-2 count in the third inning, getting aboard when Shields overthrew first base as a run scored. After advancing to third base, Herrera took advantage of a defensive shift on Anthony Rizzo to lead off halfway down the third base line. He seemed to rattle Shields enough to coax a wild pitch, scoring easily.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 10.38 ERA) to the mound Saturday in the second game of the three-game series. The Padres will counter with right-hander Tyson Ross (1-0, 3.75) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.