The Cubs' "homestand" this week consists of one three-game series against the Padres before they hit the road again for a 10-game trip.
This is a time the Cubs could start picking up ground. Despite their poor 14-19 road record, their 20-15 home record is the fourth-best in the National League, behind the top three teams in the N.L. West.
And, they have won 16 of their last 25 at home. Time for some revenge for the Padres sweep in San Diego last month.
Couple other brief notes:
- The Cubs' bullpen ERA of 3.43 ranks third in the N.L. behind the Dodgers and Diamondbacks
- Kyle Schwarber ranks fourth in the N.L. in pitches seen per at-bat, 4.44 (Anthony Rendon, Matt Carpenter and Curtis Granderson rank first, second and third)
- Jon Jay leads all N.L. players in pinch hits with 10 and his PH batting average ranks third in the N.L. among all players with at least 10 PA as a pinch-hitter (Adam Lind, Stephen Drew are first and second)
Here are today's particulars.
Rizzo 1B, Happ 2B, Bryant 3B, Contreras C, Schwarber LF, Baez SS, Almora CF, Lester P, Jay RF
Pirela LF, Solarte 2B, Myers 1B, Renfroe RF, Hedges C, Aybar SS, d'Arnaud 3B, Szczur CF, Richard P
Jon Lester vs. Clayton Richard
Jon Lester has had some really good starts this year, and some clunkers. The last one, June 13 against the Mets, was a really good one. Jon hasn't faced the Padres this year, and in two starts against them last year he allowed four runs in 12 innings, with 12 strikeouts. That's mainly meaningless, as there are a lot of players on this year's Padres who weren't there last year. The Padre who has the most AB vs. Lester is Erick Aybar (10-for-26), and most of that was from their time together in the A.L.
Here's hoping Lester builds on that last outing and begins having consistently good starts.
Clayton Richard did pretty well for the Cubs in 2015, then was barely used in 2016 and wound up being released. Signed by the Padres, he's been a decent inning-eater for them.
He last faced the Cubs in 2013, so that's not really relevant. The Cub who has the most at-bats against him is Miguel Montero (3-for-18).
More relevant are his 2017 starts. Some have been very good, some awful. He's coming off an excellent outing against the Reds June 13 -- 8⅔ innings, two runs, six strikeouts.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. 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.
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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.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.