Game Thirty-Two: Cubs (17-14) vs. Padres (13-19)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Harden (3-1, 4.83/1.45) vs. Jake Peavy (2-4, 4.27/1.21)
After a winter of pursuing Jake Peavy, Jim Hendry will finally get to see him pitch tonight at Wrigley…just one problem, he is still in the wrong uniform. As everyone knows the Cubs spent a majority of the off-season trying to trade for the former Cy Young Award winner, they got close but in the end many questioned if the package the Cubs would send to Kevin Towers was enough…then there’s the whole Peavy-is-owed-a-ton-of-money-thing and the Cubs still do not have a owner.
Some still think the deal could get done, but not until the Ricketts Family is in place, and that could be a while.
Henry Blanco, or Hank White, will make his return to Wrigley tonight and maybe, just maybe he could talk to Geovany Soto for old time’s sake.
Derrek Lee is expected back in the starting lineup as early as tonight. The MRI on Lee’s neck did not reveal anything new. The Cubs view the results as positive and Lee said Monday his neck felt better…he did not receive an anti-inflammatory injection. Lee and the Cubs will likely have to deal with this on a day-to-day basis for the remainder of the season.
After a hot start, the Padres have fallen down the standings and was just swept by the Astros. The Cubs will see Bud Black’s best two starters (they are at the top of their game right now) at the beginning of the series and the Cubs must not let Adrian Gonzalez beat them. Gonzalez has quickly become the second best first baseman in the league…and one that no one talks about. Which Rich Harden will take the mound today? The one that beat the Cardinals on April 26 and held the Astros to one run in seven innings in his last start (allowed three in seven-plus)…or the one that lasted just 3 2/3 innings against the Marlins?
Rich Harden has electric stuff, as the cliche goes, when he is on. Harden has been more on, than off, this season and the Cubs need Rich Harden to start the series and the homestand out on a positive note.
Harden has pitched better on the road this year (2-0 in 3 starts with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, 23 strikeouts and seven walks in 19 innings) than at Wrigley (1-1 in 3 starts with a 7.82 ERA and a 1.89 WHIP, 18 strikeouts and 10 walks in 12 2/3 innings). He has pitched past the fourth inning in only one of his home starts this season…and that was at night.
Tonight will be Harden’s first game against the Padres.
- Henry Blanco – 0-for-3
- David Eckstein – 3-for-15 with a double and a walk
- Jody Gerut – 1-for-6 with a double and 2 walks
- Adrian Gonzalez – 2-for-2 with a walk
The Cubs will face a pitcher tonight that they thought would be one of them back in December. Jake Peavy reportedly was extremely close to being a Cub before the talks between the Cubs and Padres came to an end on the final day of the Winter Meetings back in December. Peavy has put those rumors behind him and has been very dominating over his last two starts.
After a rough end of April, Jake Peavy has pitched like a former Cy Young award winner. He tossed eight innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers on May 1. The Dodgers’ mighty offense managed only two hits and a walk while Peavy struck out eight in his best start of the year. In his following start, Peavy dominated the Diamondbacks. He struck out 12 in seven innings and gave up two runs on four hits with three walks.
Tonight will be Jake Peavy’s seventh career start against the Cubs. He is 2-1 in the first six with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Peavy will be out to prove that the Cubs should have pulled the trigger on the trade. If there are a lot of early swings and misses, it could be another ugly night for the Cubs’ offense.
- Milton Bradley – 1-for-12 with a walk
- Ryan Freel – 3-for-16
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-2 with a double
- Derrek Lee – 2-for-13 with 2 doubles and a walk
- Aaron Miles – 4-for-14 with 2 doubles, a triple and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-10 with a double, 2 home runs and 2 walks
- Geovany Soto – 1-for-2
- Ryan Theriot – 1-for-5 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….