RECORDS: Cubs 76-66 Padres 66-76
GAMETIMES: Monday-Wednesday 9:10, Thursday 2:40
TV: WGN Monday, NBCSN Tuesday/Thursday, ABC 7 Wednesday
LOOKING FOR THE SUIT STORE: Gaslamp Ball
SERIES PREVIEW POSTS
I may have waved the white flag at this team, or something a lot more impolite, but there are those out there that haven’t. And maybe the players haven’t either. They can’t say they have. We’ll find out real soon. If they do plan on making a fist of this season, and not just waiting around for the Diamondbacks or Brewers or Phillies to come and slip the quiet knife between the ribs, it should probably start….cue Denis Lemieux…RIGHT FUCKING NOW.
The Cubs head out to the West Coast for the fourth time this season (because that makes sense) for four games with the Padres before returning home for a 10-game homestand that definitely has the feel of 2004 where everything will go wrong. But before we get there, it’s this series against the Padres, one of the NL’s most exciting teams…next year.
The Fathers sit 10 games under, and suffered through a brutal July where they went 8-16. They recovered for a 13-15 August, and just won a series off the moribund Rockies (whom the Cardinals get to play soon. Oh joy!). They also took three of four off the Giants to end August, though getting swept by the D-Backs is also in there.
One reason for the ho-hum record is that this isn’t a very good offense. Producing a good one in that park will be the challenge for GM AJ Preller going forward, as Petco seems to gobble up offense even in the face of demonic baseballs. Of late, only new kid Josh Naylor is hitting, taking Hunter Renfroe‘s job in right field. Naylor is playing to lock down a spot next year, which is a common theme amongst this team at the moment.
They weren’t helped by Fernando Tatis Jr. going on the shelf for the season either. Wil Myers has been the only other regular to hit the past month, but he doesn’t always get playing time either in left, center, or first, though you might see him at the latter as Eric Hosmer has been emitting a weird smell all season. Recent promotion Nick Martini, and all the Groucho Marx jokes that come with him, has hit since arriving as well and gets most of the time in left.
The Cubs missed Chris Paddack when the Padres invaded Wrigley right after the break, but they won’t do so this time. However, the second half has been much rougher on the rookie, with an ERA a rest stop or two away from 5.00. He’s still carrying near a 5-to-1 K/BB ratio, but the Fiendish BABIP Kung Fu Treachery has gotten him in the second half, and he’s giving up more fly balls. These days, that’s not going to work out well. They’ll miss Joey Lucchesi, who has been great over the past month, and they will see Cal Quantrill who is carrying an ERA over 9.00 in that span. Ronald Bolanos will only be making his second start in the majors, so look for him to throw six shutout innings in true Cubs tradition.
The Cubs would be well advised to get to the starters, because you don’t want to have to stare down Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen late in the game, or a few others. The Padres always seem to fashion a plus-pen out of whatever’s lying around in true MacGeyver fashion, and this year is no different. Luis Perdomo has returned from injury this year into the pen and has been lights-out of late. This is just not the unit you want to try and come back against, not that this Cubs outfit as currently molded has much interest in doing that against anyone these days.
The Padres are not a doormat, but they’re not offensively charged and their starters can be had. Then again, that description could be thrown at the Cubs, and they don’t have the bullpen the Padres do. At some point, if only out of embarrassment, you’d think the Cubs would turn the levels up just a tad, and it would have to start here. But hey, if they fuck this up, with the Cardinals getting the funeral dirge that is the Rockies for three games, then at least you know the division will be over.
If you need a reason to watch and hurt yourself some more, Nico Hoerner will be up to take over at short with Baez and Russell out. Isn’t this fun?
Clean it up, assholes.