The Cubs are really sticking it to the Padres, eh?
Chicago swept San Diego in three last week and then dropped 3 of 4 to the team directly ahead of them in the NL West standings over the weekend. Putting that another way, before they played the Cubs in 2021, the Padres were in first place, a half-game UP on the Giants. But at the start of play today, they’re in second place, 2.0 games behind the Giants. Sorry! But also not sorry about the part that was good for the Cubs.
This week’s rematch will pit the Cubs against two of the three pitchers they faced last time (lefty Ryan Weathers and righty Dinelson Lamet), but we’re swapping out Chris Paddack for our old friend Yu Darvish, who’s having one hell of a season (more on that below). The Padres, by contrast, will get just one of the same pitchers they faced last time (Adbert Alzolay, tonight), while swapping Kohl Stewart and Kyle Hendricks for Jake Arrieta and Zach Davies. On the whole, this is definitely a pro-Padres trade.
There’s an off-day on Thursday, but then the Cubs home to host the Cardinals with 100% capacity at Wrigley Field. I would love to see the Cubs go into that series with some momentum, so do the thing.
We’re Going Streaking
Immediately after sweeping the Padres at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs (33-26) dropped three of four to the Giants in San Francisco, salvaging only the finale. They’re tied for first place with the Brewers, while the Cardinals are 2.5 games back. Meanwhile, after being swept by the Cubs, the San Diego Padres (36-25) split a four-game set against the Mets. That makes them 4-6 over their last 10 games, but they’re hanging onto second place in the NL West.
Game Times and Broadcasts Info
• Monday, June 7th at 9:10 CT on ESPN, MARQ, 670 The Score
• Tuesday, June 8th at 9:10 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
• Wednesday, June 9th at 3:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
Game 1: Adbert Alzolay (R) vs. Ryan Weathers (L)
Game 2: Zach Davies (R) vs. Dinelson Lamet (R)
Game 3: Jake Arrieta (R) vs. Yu Darvish (R)
• C – Willson Contreras
• 1B – Anthony Rizzo
• 2B – Eric Sogard/Sergio Alcantara
• 3B – Patrick Wisdom
• SS – Javy Báez(?)
• LF – Joc Pederson(?)
• CF – Ian Happ
• RF – Kris Bryant
Unavailable*: Jake Marisnick, Alec Mills, Justin Steele, Matt Duffy, Nico Hoerner, David Bote, Trevor Williams, Rowan Wick, Jonathan Holder, Austin Romine
San Diego Padres
• C – Victor Caratini
• 1B – Eric Hosmer
• 2B – Jake Cronenworth
• 3B – Manny Machado
• SS – Fernando Tatis Jr.
• LF – Tommy Pham
• CF – Jurickson Profar
• RF – Wil Myers
Unavailable: Drew Pomeranz, Trent Grisham, Austin Nola, Matt Strahm, Javy Guerra, Taylor Williams, Dan Altavilla, Jorge Oña
By the Numbers:
Cubs: +30 (9th)
Padres: +70 (t-4th)
Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.56 (11th)
Padres: 4.52 (13th)
Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 3.95 (9th)
Padres: 3.38 (1st)
Keep An Eye Out For …
Oh, Baby … Yu. Yu Darvish has a 2.25 ERA this season, with 84 strikeouts in 72.0 IP. His average exit velocity is down, his barrel% is down, his hardhit% is down, and he’s completed at least 7.0 innings five times out of 12 starts. BUT he’s not unbeatable. For one, his launch angle is way up this year and his ground ball rate is tiny. For another, he’s allowed six earned runs over his last 10.1 IP with 8 hits and four walks against just 10 Ks. There’s no doubt that he’s still a stud, but I think he’s probably a half-click off from what he was last year. Perhaps that’s just enough for the Cubs?
Cubs Rotation. I’m just thankful the matchup isn’t between Zach Davies and Yu Darvish. We don’t need that in our lives. Davies continues to be meh the first two times through the order and entirely absent for the third time through, going more than 5.0 innings in a game just two times this season (5.1 IP @ CLE and 7.0 IP v. PIT). He did pitch well in San Diego last year, but it was only five starts: 3.13 ERA, 31Ks, 8 BBs.
Injuries. Injuries just keep piling up for the Cubs and I’m nervously awaiting news on Joc Pederson and Javy Baez. Tentatively, I’m expecting the Cubs to sit Pederson against the lefty Ryan Weathers tonight if he’s not 100%, but it sure would be nice to have Báez back for this matchup.