Cubs vs. Padres Preview, Thursday 5/22, 9:10 CT

David Banks

The Cubs have not had much luck playing in California the last couple of years. Perhaps that can change starting tonight.

Cubs manager Rick Renteria was born and raised in Southern California. He was a manager in the Padres system for several years and their bench coach for the four years prior to being named Cubs manager, and he lives near San Diego during the offseason.

This weekend marks a homecoming for Renteria, who was a coach for four seasons with the Padres and resides in the offseason in Temecula, about an hour north of San Diego.

"My family will be there, but I won't drive back and forth," Renteria said of the Padres' series. "For me, it's another trip. I have some very good friends there that I'll be happy to see for a quick moment to say 'hello,' and then it's on. It's Cubs vs. the Padres."

If that doesn't say "laid-back California" to you, I don't know what will.

Cubs lineup:

Bonifacio CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Olt 3B, Castillo C, Schierholtz RF, Barney 2B, Arrieta P

Let's see how Mike Olt does in the No. 5 spot. (Of course, that's because there's a lefty going. Still.)

Padres lineup:

Cabrera SS, Maybin CF, Smith LF, Headley 3B, Alonso 1B, Gyorko 2B, Venable RF, Hundley C, Stults P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta


Cubs

vs. Eric Stults

Eric Stults


Padres

vs. SD

--

vs. Cubs

Due to the two off days this week, Jake Arrieta's normal turn in the rotation was skipped; thus, he hasn't pitched in nine days. He has a 2.70 ERA and 2.91 FIP so far this year, which is good, right? However, Arrieta's real worth in his three starts thus far is his WHIP: 1.875, which has resulted in him not making it out of the fifth inning in two of the three. One begins to see why the Orioles tired of him.

Arrieta has faced only four members of the current Padres roster and they are 3-for-9 against him with one home run (Will Venable). This tells us next to nothing. So we'll see.

Eric Stults has a 4.50 lifetime ERA vs. the Cubs in six career starts. He also has a 4.50 ERA this year in nine starts. So you'd expect something like six innings, three earned runs allowed from him tonight. If the Cubs can do that -- and that seems like a tall order these days -- they might just win, because the Padres are dead last in the major leagues in runs scored, 28 fewer than the Cubs, who rank 26th.

Darwin Barney, who gets the start tonight at 2B, is 5-for-10 lifetime vs. Stults with a home run. No, I am not making that up.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Padres site Gaslamp Ball.

For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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