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Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres preview, Wednesday 6/21, 1:20 CT

The Cubs go for their first series sweep since early June.

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Cubs last swept a series June 2-3-4 against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

That was followed by taking the first two of a set against the Marlins; the five-game winning streak was the season's longest to date.

It still is. That five-game winning streak was followed by a four-game losing streak that extended into losing seven of 10.

Now the Cubs have won three in a row and can make it four by taking the final game of the season against the Padres. If they can do that, the teams will have traded sweeps and wind up 3-3 for the year.

Works for me.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Rizzo 1B, Bryant RF, Schwarber LF, Russell SS, Happ 2B, La Stella 3B, Contreras C, Butler P, Almora CF

Padres lineup:

Pirela 2B, Cordero CF, Myers 1B, Renfroe RF, Spangenberg 3B, Aybar SS, Szczur LF, Torrens C, Diaz P

Eddie Butler vs. Miguel Diaz

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Butler -- I'd really like to see him succeed. He seems like a good guy and the talent is there.

Eddie Butler -- frustrating. He's had some good games and some bad games. He has yet to complete six innings in any of his starts. He still walks too many guys (18 in 34⅔ innings).

His start against the Padres in San Diego last month was his worst as a Cub. Hopefully he learned from that and can do better against the same group tonight.

Miguel Diaz made 21 relief appearances for the Padres before being placed in the rotation. He wasn't all that good in relief -- 7.50 ERA, 1.542 WHIP, five home runs in 24 innings. He has pitched a total of 5⅓ innings in his two starts, walking four and allowing a pair of homers.

He's a 22-year-old rookie who the Padres got from the Brewers (via the Twins, who chose him and then traded him to San Diego) in the Rule 5 draft. He had never pitched above A ball before this year. He probably should be in Double-A still learning, but the Padres are rebuilding and I suppose they figured he had talent, so they wanted to stash him on the MLB roster until they can, by rule, send him down.

You might recall the Cubs doing something like this with a pitcher named Lendy Castillo in 2012. 23 years old, Rule 5 draftee, had some talent and some success, but hadn't pitched above A ball. He was awful for the big-league Cubs in 2012, was sent down and never got back to his previous level. He went through four other organizations (Rangers, Blue Jays, Tigers, Indians), was released last year and is out of baseball at age 28.

These kinds of things don't really help the player or the team, in my view. The Cubs will probably hit Diaz hard, and he might never make it. Guys like this should be allowed to develop, not be pounded by big-league hitters.

Today's game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network outside the Chicago and San Diego markets.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

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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.

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.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.