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Cubs vs. Padres Preview, Wednesday 9/29, 9:05 CT: The Final Five

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As I wrote in one of the comments in this morning's game recap, knocking the Padres out of the playoffs entirely -- after San Diego held first place from April 20 to September 16 -- wouldn't quite make up for the Padres' NLCS win in 1984.

But it would still be sweet. The Cubs did a pretty good job of helping to knock the Cardinals out of contention, and should the Giants wind up winning the NL West, they owe the Cubs not only for beating up on San Diego this week, but for the 5-2 mark they posted against the Cubs this year. The Giants had no former Cubs at all on their team until the Mike Fontenot trade, so they should be set up pretty well for the postseason.

It was noted after the Padres lost 10 straight games from August 26-September 5 that they were only the second team in history to do that and hold first place. The other team, the 1932 Pirates, failed to win the NL pennant -- I think you all know that the Cubs did. When that streak began this year, San Diego was 76-49 and 6.5 games ahead. Since then they have gone 11-21 and have lost 8.5 games in the standings to the Giants.

Let's make it 9.5 tonight.

Tonight's lineup via tweet from Carrie:

#Cubs lineup vs Padres Wed nite: RF Fuke, SS Castro, CF Byrd, 3B Ramy, 1B Nady, LF Sori, 2B DeWitt, C Hill, P Wells

And, one more interesting note via the Cubs media notes for today:

Since 1901, only three 20-year-old shortstops have a recorded a higher batting average than rookie shortstop Starlin Castro’s current .301 mark: Alex Rodriguez hit .358 for Seattle in 1996, Arky Vaughan hit .318 for Pittsburgh in 1932 and Travis Jackson hit .302 for the New York Giants in 1924.
Not saying Castro is going to be this good, but Vaughan and Jackson are in the Hall of Fame and A-Rod is likely headed there when he retires.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
vs. Chris Young
Chris Young
8-13 W-L 1-0
4.28 ERA 1.20
142 SO 9
59 BB 9
19 HR 1
vs. SD -- vs. Cubs

2010 - Randy Wells 8-13 31 31 0 0 0 0 187.1 203 94 89 19 59 142 4.28 1.40

2010 - Chris Young 1-0 3 3 0 0 0 0 15.0 7 2 2 1 9 9 1.20 1.07

Chris Young missed most of this year with shoulder trouble after one April start. He's made two starts since his return and thrown pretty well, though with six walks in 10 innings against the Cardinals and Reds. His last start vs. the Cubs was on May 24, 2009 in San Diego -- linked for amusement value only. Seven Cubs who played in that game are no longer on the team. Of current Cubs, Alfonso Soriano has homered off Young twice in 16 at-bats.

Randy Wells threw well against the Padres on August 17 at Wrigley Field. He allowed only one run in seven innings -- but was the victim of one of the Cubs' three 1-0 losses this year. Randy has been good in his last two outings and a strong finish tonight could put his season ERA close to 4.00. That's a run higher than last year -- but Wells has gotten through the whole year without missing a start and will throw over 190 innings. He's a solid #4 starter.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and 4 San Diego. Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Padres site Gaslamp Ball. But be careful over there.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 9 pm CDT and the overflows will post at 10 pm, 11 pm and 11:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.