Sweeping a team is never easy, especially in their own home park. And it hasn't happened for the Cubs in San Diego since 2004, the first year of Petco Park's existence. Since 2004 the Cubs are just 18-24 in Petco, and that includes the last two days' victories. A win this afternoon would not only sweep this series, it would give the Cubs the season series over the Padres four games to two.
Also, ICYMI in the comments in the recap to last night's game, the Cubs' remarkable run this year includes being over .600 for all but one day all season. At the end of their 5-15 tailspin in early July, the Cubs were 52-35, which is a .598 winning percentage. The day before at 52-34, they were at .604, and after winning the last game before the All-Star break, they were 53-35, or .602.
Besides that one day, the Cubs have been at or over .600 all season. Remarkable.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 1B, Zobrist 2B, Soler LF, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Baez 3B, Contreras C, Hendricks P
A day off for Anthony Rizzo.
Jankowski CF, Myers RF, Solarte 3B, Dickerson LF, Schimpf 2B, Wallace 1B, Norris C, Sardinas SS, Clemens P
The last time Kyle Hendricks pitched in San Diego, May 21, 2015, he threw a complete-game shutout, the first of his career. Oh, and Kris Bryant and Addison Russell both homered in that game. Sound familiar? I'll take another one of those please.
Beyond that, the major-league ERA leader (yes, that's Kyle) has a 1.24 ERA and 0.995 WHIP in his last 12 appearances (11 starts). Keep up the great work!
Paul Clemens' name should also sound familiar -- because he started against the Cubs June 25 in Miami, as a member of the Marlins. Three days after the Cubs scored four runs off him in five innings, including homers by Russell and Miguel Montero, the Marlins waived him and the Padres claimed him.
Since Clemens (no relation to Roger) entered the San Diego rotation, he has a 4.93 ERA in five starts (not counting a one-out relief appearance in extra innings during that time), with five homers allowed in 23⅔ innings. He has not pitched more than five innings in any of his seven starts this year.
Sounds like a guy the Cubs should be able to hit.
Today's game is on WGN. For affiliate information in the Illinois/Indiana/Iowa Cubs TV market click here.
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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.