Game Forty-Three: Cubs (20-22) vs. Padres (24-20)
Game Time – 9:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego
Rich Hill (4-3, 2.91/1.06) vs. Jake Peavy (5-1, 1.64/0.99)
The dreaded West Coast swing…. The Cubs start a 6-game road trip tonight in San Diego that finishes up with a visit to the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. The Cubs have hit a pivotal point in their schedule with 16 of their next 19 games being against the best teams the National League has to offer and the other team being the very young and exciting Florida Marlins. Rich Hill will look to get back on track tonight against one of the top pitchers in the National League, Jake Peavy. The Cubs have not beaten Peavy in four career starts but maybe the new lineup Lou Piniella is supposed to unveil tonight will start the road trip out with a big win and get the Cubs within a game of .500. The Cubs have had trouble with the Padres the last couple of seasons. They were swept in the season series ago (0-7) and split the 2 games the teams played this year at Wrigley. Rich Hill will have his hands full against a team that hits left-handed pitching very well. The Padres are hitting .260 with a .341 OBP and a .440 SLG against southpaws while against right-handed pitching they hit almost 30 points lower…. .235 with a .305 OBP and a .365 SLG. Hill must get back on track. After an April that saw him post a 3-1 record with a 1.77 ERA in his 3 starts in May he is 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA.
Hill is 0-1 in his only start against the Padres. He allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in 5 1/3 innings while walking 5 and striking out 4 (5.06 ERA/1.69 WHIP). But his only appearance came before he was sent back down to Iowa last May….after his recall last July, Hill has been a different pitcher. No one on the Padres active roster has more than 5 at bats against Hill and only Mike Cameron and Khalil Greene have a hit off of him.
Jake Peavy has put himself in elite company. He leads the league in ERA (1.64) and in strikeouts (71), is one of fifteen pitchers in the NL with 5 wins (Jason Marquis is among the 15 and the league leaders have just 6), and his one loss puts him in the company of Cole Hamels, Matt Morris, Jason Marquis, Brad Penny and Tom Glavine of pitchers with at least nine starts and only one defeat. Peavy has also held opponents to a .194 batting average, which is tied for first in the NL with Jason Marquis with Rich Hill a close second at .198.
Peavy’s string of at least 10 strikeouts per outing was halted last Wednesday against the Reds. Prior to his start against Cincinnati, Peavy had recorded at least 10 strikeouts in 4 consecutive starts with a brilliant 7-inning performance on April 25th against the Diamondbacks in which he struck out 16. In his last 5 starts Peavy has struck out 51 batters while walking just 10 and despite allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in 35 innings he is 2-1 in those ballgames. In 60 1/3 innings this year only Chris Young of the Diamondbacks has gone yard against him.
The Cubs aggressiveness at the plate could pay dividends tonight against Peavy, who is 1-0 in 4 career starts with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP against the Cubs. Peavy throws strikes and while he has very good stuff, he is always around the strike zone.
- Derrek Lee – 2-7, with 2 doubles
- Cliff Floyd – 1-9, with a home run
- Aramis Ramirez – 3-11, with a double, a home run and 2 RBI’s
- Alfonso Soriano – 2-5, with a double, a home run and a RBI
- Daryle Ward – 3-9
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball…..