Series Preview: Cubs at Padres, May 9 - May 11, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Padres, May 9 – May 11, 2022

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are nearly at the end of their very tough stretch in the schedule, though finishing up with the Padres in San Diego is hardly a soft landing. They’re also still missing a TON of starting pitching (Wade Miley, Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, Alec Mills, Adbert Alzolay) with their fair share of injuries on the positional side, as well.

But, hey, Frank Schwindel is back, so … hooray. 

It’s not yet clear who will start the second or third games of this series for the Cubs, but using an opener for at least one of these games is likely on the table.

The Cubs have an off-day coming after this series (Thursday), and then they’ll face the Diamondbacks, Pirates, Diamondbacks, and Reds for 14 straight. So things will ease up, but the Cubs will have to go on a SERIOUS run while short-handed to avoid some early-June trade rumors.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (9-18) have lost five games in a row and are one of only four teams without ten wins yet on the year. The San Diego Padres (19-10) have won 7 of their last 10 and are tied for the second most wins in MLB.

Hot or Not and What to Watch

Seiya Suzuki has started swinging the bat more often, and although it hasn’t quite turned into any results worth mentioning just yet, I do like to see a more active plate appearance. Hopefully, this is the start of things turning around. Just something to keep an eye on.

Kyle Hendricks has allowed 10 earned runs over his last 10 IP. He’s had a couple good starts this season, but overall it has been very ugly.

Ian Happ has hit a wall. After homer in back-to-back games against the Pirates and Braves, the Cubs outfielder has just four hits in his last 37 plate appearances. The 8 walks in that stretch elevate his OBP to something useful, but overall the production is not looking good.

Former top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore has gotten off to a fantastic start this season, striking out 22 batters over 21.0 innings with just 4 earned runs allowed. He’s starting against Kyle Hendricks tonight.

Manny Machado has been the most valuable player in baseball over the last two weeks, slashing .447/.509/.745 (257 wRC+, 1.5 WAR) with four homers and a 14.5% strikeout rate.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Monday, May 9 at 8:40 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score,
•   Tuesday, May 10 at 8:40 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
•   Wednesday, May 11 at 3:10 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Kyle Hendricks (R) vs. MacKenzie Gore (L)
Game 2: TBD vs. Mike Clevinger (R)
Game 3: TBD vs. Nick Martinez (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Alfonso Rivas
•   2B – Nick Madrigal
•   3B – Jonathan Villar
•   SS – Nico Hoerner
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Jason Heyward
•   RF – Seiya Suzuki
•   DH – Frank Schwindel

Unavailable: Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, Andrelton Simmons, Alec Mills, Clint Frazier, Ethan Roberts, David Bote, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer

San Diego Padres

•   C – Jorge Alfaro/Austin Nola
•   1B – Eric Hosmer
•   2B – Jake Cronenworth
•   3B – Manny Machado
•   SS – Ha-Seong Kim
•   LF – Jurickson Profar
•   CF – Trent Grisham
•   RF – Matt Beaty
•   DH – Varies Daily

Unavailable: Blake Snell, Pierce Johnson, Luke Voit, Wil Myers, Tim Hill, Michael Báez, Adrian Morejon, Drew Pomeranz, Fernando Tatis Jr., Austin Adams

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -20
Padres: +15

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 3.81
Padres: 4.38

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.56
Padres: 3.86

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami