Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs reacts after giving up a home run to Garrett Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The San Diego Padres are in Chicago Monday to begin a short three-game homestand for the Cubs. Let's look at them, shall we?
They are 5-15 in road games. That's six three-game series and one two-game series. They have won exactly one game in five of those series and were swept in the other two.
They have 18 home runs this year: nine at home, nine on the road. The next-fewest number of home runs by a team is 30, by the Mets and Giants. The leader is Chase Headley with five; no one else has more than three. Some baseball people thought Yonder Alonso's home-run power might be affected by Petco Park -- they appear to have been right. He has 16 doubles -- tied for second in the NL -- and one home run. At Petco he has 11 doubles and no homers.
They scored a run in the first inning on Friday against the Mets. That's the last run they scored -- they're on a streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings.
Their first two starting pitchers in this series are a 37-year-old journeyman who posted a 4.78 ERA in 2011 -- in Triple-A -- and a 32-year-old journeyman who, before this year, last started a major league game in 2009, and wasn't very good then.
The Cubs will probably get swept, the way things are going.
In case you are interested, Chris Jaffe at Hardball Times has a list of the most recent 12-game losing streaks by all teams. There has been one other 12-game loss streak this year, by the Royals. A loss today, and the Cubs have the longest 2012 losing streak all to themselves.
DeJesus RF, Castro SS, Mather CF, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, Barney 2B, Lalli C, T. Wood P
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Travis Wood||0-1||2||2||0||0||0||0||11.2||5||5||5||2||5||7||3.86||.86|
|2012 - Jeff Suppan||2-3||7||5||0||0||0||0||25.2||28||13||12||2||13||5||4.21||1.60|
Travis Wood had one start and one relief appearance against the Padres in 2011 and actually did pretty well -- 7⅔ innings, one run allowed, no home runs. Current Padres have a small-sample-size record of 8-for-24 against Wood. Truth be told, I'm somewhat more interested in seeing Wood hit. Looks like a pretty good hitter -- maybe Dale Sveum should consider using him as a pinch-hitter when he's not starting. (Career: 12-for-71, but with four doubles, a triple and two home runs.)
Jeff Suppan? Jeff Freaking Suppan? Didn't he retire like five years ago?
Guess not. The Padres brought him back to the major leagues this year, although you'd think they'd go with young pitching themselves. Current Cubs are hitting .221 against Suppan with six home runs, although if you take out Geovany Soto's numbers (since he's on the DL), that drops to .205 with three home runs. Clearly, we are doomed.
Suppan's BB/K ratio should be noted. 13 walks, five strikeouts. Prepare for a long afternoon, especially since the Padres and Cubs rank first and second, respectively, in the NL in walks allowed.
Today's game is on WGN.
Today's first pitch thread will post at 1:20 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 2:20, 3:20 and 4:05 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.