A fun fact to open the preview this evening:
Jason Heyward of the @Cubs is hitting .378 with runners on this season. Only Josh Harrison (.398) and Matt Kemp (.387) have a better average among qualifiers.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) July 13, 2018
His .340 BA against the Padres is the highest BA versus San Diego among active players (min. 150 PA).
More notes for today:
- The last two Cubs/Padres series in San Diego have resulted in sweeps. The Cubs swept the Padres August 22-24, 2016, and the Padres swept the Cubs May 29-31, 2017.
- The Cubs enter tonight’s contest with a 50-48 record in 98 games played all-time on a Friday the 13th, but have won six of their last seven such contests, though their six-game Friday-The-13th winning streak was snapped this year on April 13 vs. the Braves (5-0 setback). Tonight marks the first time the Cubs and Padres have ever squared off on a Friday the 13th.
- As we near the All-Star Break, Kyle Schwarber’s 34 homers since last season’s Midsummer Classic are fourth-most in the N.L., trailing Nolan Arenado (43), Paul Goldschmidt (37) and Charlie Blackmon (35).
Padres SS Freddy Galvis leads majors w/852 inn played. The Cubs don't have a player ranked in the top 50. Javier Baez is 72nd. That is incredible & speaks to how deep the roster is & how Joe has parsed playing time.— Len Kasper (@LenKasper) July 13, 2018
Here are today’s particulars.
This, obviously, is an effort to get Anthony Rizzo out of his 0-for-19 slump. Rizzo has led off once this year, May 1 against the Rockies. He went 1-for-4 — a leadoff home run. Last year hitting in the leadoff spot, Rizzo hit .300/.373/.680 (15-for-50) with two doubles, a triple and five home runs.
This will be the first time the Cubs will have faced their former minor leaguer Christian Villanueva in a regular-season game.
Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Clayton Richard, LHP
Well, here we go again. I’m tired of talking about Tyler Chatwood’s walks, you know what’s happened this season.
Against the Padres in his career, he has a 4.17 ERA and 1.290 WHIP in 13 appearances (11 starts). Last year: four starts, 4.07 ERA, 1.151 WHIP — that was only nine walks in 24⅓ innings.
Does that mean much for now? Probably not. All I can say is: I hope Chatwood has figured out how to throw strikes. Otherwise this is not going to be pretty.
After the Cubs let Clayton Richard go, he went back to the Padres, for whom he had a couple of good years in the early 2010s. He’s been in their rotation for more than two years and has been decidedly... mediocre. He led the major leagues in hits allowed last year and is leading the N.L. in hits allowed this year. He has a couple of good outings, then a couple of bad ones. He’s probably the epitome of “replacement level starter.”
Last year, he threw 6⅓ pretty good innings against the Cubs, June 19, 2017 at Wrigley Field. Current Cubs are a small sample size 7-for-37 (.189) against him with one home run (Willson Contreras).
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.
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The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. 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.