This Cubs road trip is going better than I expected it to. The Cubs had gone 2-7 over their last nine games in San Diego before this year, and don't generally play well on the West Coast.
But here they are, with a chance to take three of four in this series. It would be nice to do that, because the rest of this trip is against teams far better than the Padres. The Cubs haven't won a road series since last September 9-10-11 at Cincinnati. Time to break that streak.
An article published too late to be included in Cub Tracks is something you should at least take a look at -- in the Sun-Times, Gordon Wittenmyer writes that the MLBPA is supposedly keeping a "close eye" on Cubs spending:
The issue is sensitive enough that Cubs officials declined comment and the MLB Players Association chose to provide a statement rather than be interviewed by the Sun-Times on the subject. "Speaking generally, as one would expect, we monitor the spending of all Clubs on a regular basis," MLBPA spokesman Greg Bouris said in an email, "and if we have concerns we raise them with the Commissioner’s Office. "We also understand the cyclical nature of the industry, but despite the ups and downs franchises face, we strongly believe that the best way to improve one’s bottom line is to invest in Major League talent." Team sources said the Cubs haven’t been told of any attempted action from the union.
Sounds like Gordo is just trying to stir up trouble again, which is why I didn't put this in a separate article. Worth talking about, though.
Bonifacio CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 2B, Olt 3B, Schierholtz RF, Baker C, Hammel P
The Padres lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Padres lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Hammel faced the Padres quite a bit when he was in the N.L. West with the Rockies, but has not pitched against them since July 29, 2011. Most of the Padres on that team are gone now; Chase Headley (7-for-23) and Everth Cabrera (5-for-18) have the most at-bats against Hammel, who is still having a Scott Feldman-esque season that will likely see him in another uniform by July 31.
As I noted in the recap to last night's game, the Padres are sending out an actual rotation starter today, Ian Kennedy, instead of a replacement for an injured pitcher. Kennedy is having a decent year and current Cubs are hitting just .213 (23-for-108) against him. Nate Schierholtz has six of those hits (in 19 at-bats), including two home runs. So there's that, anyway.
Today's game is on WGN.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com 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.