Due to the wacky way the MLB schedule is laid out these days, sometimes you don't see a particular opponent for a very long time.
It has been 362 days since the Cubs faced the Padres; the last game between the two teams was August 19, 2009 in San Diego, the last of a three-game series in which the Cubs lost two of three. They haven't played the Padres at Wrigley Field since May 14, 2009, the last of a three-game sweep just before a long Cub losing streak.
As best as I can reconstruct the Cubs' 25-man roster from August 19, 2009, there are only 11 players left from that day who are still on the 25-man roster today. They are: Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Tom Gorzelanny, Derrek Lee, Jeff Baker, Randy Wells, Carlos Zambrano, Sean Marshall, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Marmol. Make it 12 if you want to count Geovany Soto, who's now on the DL. There will likely be more changes before Opening Day 2011.
Meanwhile, the Padres have been just about the best team in the National League since that date. Since August 20, 2009, the Padres are 93-63. The Cubs? Not so much... they're 72-89 since then. Eight of the Cubs' last 44 games will be against the Padres, including four the final week of the season in San Diego. Personally, if the Padres do win the NL West, let them do it before or after that series. I can't stomach the thought of them clinching the division and celebrating with the Cubs watching.
Oh, and the Padres have the best road record in the National League (33-25).
Tonight's lineups -- Cubs via tweet from CubsInsider:
#Cubs lineup vs. #Padres (8/16): Fukudome RF, Barney SS, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Nady 1B, Soriano LF, DeWitt 2B, Hill C, Gorzelanny P
Padres lineup via tweet from the official Padres Twitter account:
#Padres lineup 8/16: J. Hairston 4, Tejada 6, Gonzalez 3, Ludwick 9, Torrealba 2, Headley 5, S. Hairston 7, Denorfia 8, Correia 1.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Tom Gorzelanny||6-6||23||17||0||0||1||0||106.0||101||51||43||7||51||99||3.65||1.43|
|2010 - Kevin Correia||9-7||22||22||0||0||0||0||122.1||121||68||66||17||52||93||4.86||1.41|
Kevin Correia has made four career starts vs. the Cubs (1-1, 3.75). He threw six shutout innings vs. the Cubs the last time the teams played, on August 19, 2009 in San Diego, a game the Cubs should have won except for the fact that Kevin Gregg wasn't a good closer. Current Cubs are 12-for-50 (.240) against Correia.
Tom Gorzelanny is 1-2, 4.24 in three career starts vs. the Padres. He has not faced them since 2007, when he was with the Pirates. Thus, the Padre he's faced most is Ryan Ludwick (1-for-11), who has spent most of his career with the Cardinals. Adrian Gonzalez hits him well (4-for-9, 1 HR), but then, Gonzalez hits everyone well.
Tonight's game is on WGN and Ch-4 San Diego. Normally, those SD games don't make it to Extra Innings, so if you don't have WGN, you're out of luck tonight. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Tonight's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.