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Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres Preview, Tuesday 8/23, 9:10 CT

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The Cubs go for the series win.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Blane Farrell, a BCB reader, sent me these interesting notes about Cubs with 80+ RBI seasons, since Addison Russell reached that mark in Monday's game. (NOTE: I am well aware that RBI is a stat that doesn't tell us the whole story of offensive contributions in modern baseball. Nevertheless, this is still a significant achievement, and worth noting.)

Since 1960, a total of 57 seasons, the Cubs have 18 seasons in which three or more players have driven in 80 runs. Addison Russell’s home run and 80th RBI last night guaranteed that 18th season.

In the 11 seasons from 1960 to 1970 this occurred eight times. The only player not named Ernie Banks, Ron Santo or Billy Williams who did it during that time frame was Jim Hickman in 1970, who drove in 115. Williams drove in 129 that year and Santo 114. So, in the last 46 seasons it has happened only 10 times.

1970 also marked on the second time the Cubs have had at least three players with more than 100 RBI in a season. The other such year was 1965 when Williams (108), Banks (106) and Santo (101) did it.

Only three times in the last 57 seasons have more than three Cubs players had 80+ RBI in a season, all playoff years:
  • 1984, amazingly, saw six players do it: Ron Cey (97), Leon Durham (96), Jody Davis (94), Ryne Sandberg (84), Gary Matthews (82) and Keith Moreland (80).
  • 2004: Moises Alou (106), Aramis Ramirez (103), Derrek Lee (98) and Sammy Sosa (80).
  • 2008: Ramirez (111), Lee (90), Mark DeRosa (87) and Geovany Soto (86).
It had only happened one other additional time between 1945 and 1960 (1950 -- Hank Sauer had 103, Andy Pafko 92 and Roy Smalley 85), so it is really 19 times in 71 seasons.

As I mentioned, only twice have three Cubs had 100 or more RBI (1965 and 1970). Only two other times have three or more players had more than 90 in a season:
  • 1964: Santo (114), Williams (98), Banks (95)
  • 1969: Santo (123), Banks (106), Williams (95)

This year's team, with 38 games remaining, could have Russell, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo all over 100, plus Ben Zobrist, with 63, has a shot at 80 and perhaps 90. Good times.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist LF, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Baez 2B, Contreras C, Arrieta P

Padres lineup:

Jankowski CF, Myers 1B, Solarte 3B, Dickerson LF, Schimpf 2B, Bethancourt C, Kivlehan RF, Sardinas SS, Friedrich P

Jake Arrieta

vs

Christian Friedrich

Oddly enough, Jake Arrieta hasn't faced the Padres this year -- and he didn't face them last year, either. The last time he did was May 22, 2014, and I include that boxscore only to note that there isn't a single player who played for the Padres that day who's still on the team. Not only that, Jake and Anthony Rizzo are the only Cubs who played in that game who are still on the team. The turnover is so complete that the only current Padre he's faced for more than a couple of at-bats is Alexei Ramirez (6-for-16), but Ramirez is having the worst year of his career.

Hopefully, Jake gets back to being Jake! tonight. He didn't complete six innings in either of his last two starts.

Chicago-area native Christian Friedrich (high school: Loyola Academy) has not faced the Cubs this year and has a 5.03 ERA and 1.353 WHIP in six starts since the All-Star break. He's also struck out only 15 in that span, meaning he's likely a pitch-to-contact guy. He made two relief appearances against the Cubs last year (while with the Rockies) and current Cubs are a very-small-sample-size 4-for-12 against him

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. If you do go there to interact with Padres fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.