Notes for Wednesday:
- EVENLY MATCHED: The Cubs now have a 50-50 record in their last 100 games starting May 20, are 40-40 in their last 80 games starting June 10, have gone 16-16 in their last 32 games starting August 6 and are 8-8 in their last 16 games starting August 24.
- THE TWENTY CLUB: Jason Heyward Tuesday connected for his 20th homer of the season to become the sixth Cub to reach the mark, matching the franchise record from 2017. The others with 20 this year: Kyle Schwarber (35), Javier Báez (29), Kris Bryant (28), Anthony Rizzo (25) and Willson Contreras (20). Nicholas Castellanos, who has hit 14 of his 25 homers with the Cubs this season, still has a chance to join this group.
- THE SCHWARBINO: Kyle Schwarber has 17 home runs since the All-Star break, matching his post-All-Star total from 2017. In franchise history, only two left-handed hitters have hit more than 17 home runs after the All-Star break: Billy Williams (22 in both 1965 and 1968) and Bill Nicholson (18 in both 1943 and 1944).
- YOU LOOK FAMILIAR: The Cubs have more games remaining against N.L. Central opponents than any other team within the division: 10 at home and six on the road. Overall the Cubs are 31-29 vs. their division this season, including a 20-7 record at Wrigley Field and an 11-22 record on the road.
Here are today’s particulars.
Tony Kemp’s on-base percentage since coming to the Cubs: .200. Overall: .282.
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Chris Paddack, RHP
Cole Hamels has had a rough go of it since returning from his oblique injury. He has made a couple of decent starts in that time, but overall: seven starts, 7.12 ERA, 1.945 WHIP. That’s... not good.
Hamels missed the Padres series while he was on the IL and so the last time he faced them was June 25, 2018, while he was with the Rangers. That one didn’t go well. He served up home runs, but those were in Globe Life Park, a place where Hamels pitched poorly last year.
Perhaps better news: Hamels has made nine career starts in Petco Park and his ERA there is 2.01, with just three home runs allowed there in 62⅔ innings. Hamels grew up in the San Diego area. Maybe pitching in his hometown is just the ticket.
Chris Paddack has had an interesting year. Over his first nine starts he posted a 1.93 ERA and people were talking about him as a possible Rookie of the Year candidate.
His last eight starts, though, have not been as good: 5.45 ERA, 1.361 WHIP, nine home runs in 39⅔ innings.
He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current roster. That’s the second straight night for this.
Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on ESPN (outside the Cubs market territory — should be available in the Padres market). ESPN announcers: Jon Sciambi and Rick Sutcliffe.
SB Nation game preview
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The 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.