Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 08/19/09

Game One Hundred-Eighteen: Cubs (60-57) vs. Padres (51-70)
Game Time – 9:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego

Rich Harden (7-7, 4.30/1.30) vs. Mat Latos (4-2, 4.01/1.16)

The Cubs will complete their season series with the Padres tonight with the sixth and final game in San Diego. The Cubs swept the Friars at Wrigley but are 0-5 at PETCO Park … Tuesday’s loss gave the Cubs a losing record against the Padres this season.

Randy Wells was originally scheduled to start tonight’s game but was pushed back to Friday in Los Angeles … Sunday’s rainout against the Pirates allowed Rich Harden to start the finale tonight

Will Lou Piniella try anything different with his lineup tonight? The Cubs have scored a grand total of seven runs in five games in San Diego this season … and simply cannot manufacture runs.

Tonight is all begins with Rich Harden as the Cubs try to avoid being winless in San Diego for 2009 …

Rich Harden was scheduled to start the finale of the three game series against the Pirates last Sunday. Harden completed his warm-up but the rains swept through Wrigley just before the scheduled start time … the Cubs waited for the rains that never came, then when they finally did three hours later, the game was scraped.

Rich Harden has turned his season around since the All-Star break. After an inconsistent first half (5-6 in 14 starts with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP) that featured a stint on the DL, Harden has pitched rather well in the second half.

Harden is 2-1 in his last six starts with a 1.95 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. Teams are hitting 121 points lower against Harden in his last six games (.150) than they did in his first 14 outings (.271).

Tonight will be Rich Harden’s tenth road start of the year … he is 4-2 in the first nine with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Rich Harden beat the Padres in his only career start against San Diego at Wrigley back on May 12. Harden allowed two runs on four hits with a walk, five strikeouts and a home run to Adrian Gonzalez … a two-run shot in the first inning. Harden beat Jake Peavy thanks to a monster homer by Milton Bradley.

  • Henry Blanco – 0-for-5
  • David Eckstein – 4-for-18 with a double and a walk
  • Adrian Gonzalez – 4-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Chase Headley – 0-for-3
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff – 0-for-2
  • Luis Rodriguez – 1-for-6 with a walk

The Cubs will get their first look at the Padres number two prospect according to Baseball America. Mat Latos has been very good for Bud Black in his first six big league starts … especially at home.

Latos is 2-1 in three home starts this season with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … and just 2-1 in three road starts with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Mat Latos is coming off a loss on the road to the Cardinals. He allowed seven runs on eight hits in four innings with three walks and a strikeout.

The Padres took Mat Latos in the 11th round of the 2006 draft. He was the top-pitching prospect in the Northwest League in 2007. According to Baseball America, “shoulder, oblique and attitude problems hampered him in 2008.

Latos features a fastball in the mid to upper 90s with “tremendous downhill plane” because of his height (6’5″ tall). Latos’ fastball was ranked as a 70 on the 20-80 scale. He also features a hard-breaking slider and appears to be the real deal according to Baseball America.

Tonight will be Mat Latos’ first career appearance against the Chicago Cubs.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt