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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Padres, Wednesday 5/23, 9:05 CT

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Since I've been the kiss of death on things like Alfonso Soriano's hitting streak, let me see if I can do it to this one, too: the Cubs have now lost five straight games in San Diego for the first time since July 14, 1989-April 25, 1990. They have not lost six in a row there since May 8, 1983-April 7, 1984.

I'd think you'll agree that sort of thing needs the kiss of death tonight, right?

The Padres have three forty-plus pitchers (David Wells, Greg Maddux and Doug Brocail), plus another (Trevor Hoffman) who is 39. And they've got the best pitching staff in the National League. Maybe they're on to something. Think Terry Mulholland is available? (I'M JOKING HERE. Well, mostly joking, anyway.)

Meanwhile, the Cubs' 181 runs allowed is third-fewest in the NL (behind the Padres and Mets) and their Pythagorean numbers still show they are underperforming, now by four games; they should be 24-19, having scored 207 runs, which ranks seventh in the NL. This disparity can be almost entirely attributed to the bullpen meltdowns, of which I don't think any of us need to be reminded.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Sean Marshall
S. Marshall
Cubs
vs. David Wells
D. Wells
Padres
making W-L 1-2
his ERA 5.40
2007 SO 24
season BB 11
debut HR 5
vs. SD -- vs. Cubs
Wells is in his 21st year in the major leagues; most of his pre-interleague play days were in the AL, so he's only made three career starts vs. the Cubs (1-1, 4.61), the last one being on May 16, 2004; only Derrek Lee, Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez remain from that day's players. In fact, San Diego returns only Wells, Brian Giles, Scott Linebrink and Khalil Greene from their players who appeared in that game three years ago.

Wells was originally drafted in 1982 by the Blue Jays. He was pitching in their system for Medicine Hat (what a great place name!) when Sean Marshall was born on August 30, 1982.

Today's TV includes WGN, Ch4 San Diego and the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.