Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 08/08/12

Game One Hundred Nine: Cubs (43-65) vs. Padres (48-64)
Game Time – 5:35pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV- Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – PETCO Park, San Diego

Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37/1.32) vs. Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01/1.22)

The Cubs long trip to the West Coast (0-5) comes to an end tonight with the series and season finale against the Padres (3-2). After sweeping the Friars at Wrigley back in May, the Cubs have lost the last two games by a combined score of 9-4. Not only has the offense been anemic since the trade deadline, the pitching staff has not fared much better. The Cubs have been outscored 38-16 during the seven-game losing streak.

Not only has Dale Sveum’s team struggled against left-handed starters this season (12-20), the Cubs have played bad ball of the road this year (16-41) and it doesn’t figure to get any easier tonight with the lefty Clayton Richard on the hill for the Padres.

With Matt Garza on the DL, Jeff Samardzija has the most tenure of any starter on the Cubs’ staff and Dale Sveum needs a long, efficient outing from Samardzija tonight. The bullpen has been used a lot over the last seven games and the Cubs do not have another day off for a week.

Alfonso Soriano is expected back in the starting lineup tonight. Soriano was a late-scratch Tuesday due to an injury he received sliding into second base in the sixth inning of Monday’s game.

In other news … The Cubs have used 46 different players this season, five short of the franchise mark set in 2000 (51). Only six players remain on the active roster from the 2011 Opening Day roster and 15 of the current 25-man active roster are new to the team this year.

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija is coming off a rough start in Los Angeles. Samardzija was sharp the first time through the lineup then his outing fell apart. Samardzija could not get through six innings and allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Samardzija did not walk and batter and struck out three.

Samardzija posted a 2-1 record in five July starts with a 1.91 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, since the break 1-1 in four starts with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

The road has not been too kind to Samardzija this season (4-6 in 12 starts with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP) and it will not get any easier for him this evening.

Jeff Samardzija beat the Padres back on May 29 at Wrigley after allowing three runs on eight hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings. Samardzija is 2-0 in three career appearances, one start, against the Friars with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP … Samardzija has thrown only 1/3 of an inning at PETCO Park.

Padres Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Yonder Alonso – 0-for-4
  • Alexi Amarista – 0-for-2
  • John Baker – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Chris Denorfia – 0-for-3
  • Jesus Guzman – 0-for-1
  • Chase Headley – 0-for-4 with two walks
  • Mark Kotsay – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Cameron Maybin – 1-for-4 with a walk
  • Carlos Quentin – 3-for-5 with a double and a home run

Clayton Richard has been very inconsistent this season but when he’s been good, he’s been very good. Richard is coming off an excellent outing against the Mets. Richard held the Metropolitans to one run on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in seven innings. Richard posted a 3-2 record in six June starts with a 2.21 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP then struggled in July to the tune of a 2-3 mark in six starts with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Over his last five starts, 2-2 with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Like so many pitchers, Clayton Richard thrives at PETCO Park. Richard is 5-4 in 10 starts in his home park with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

The former Southsider beat the Cubs the only time he faced them (one run on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings) on August 18, 2010 at Wrigley Field.

Cubs Career Numbers against Clayton Richard

  • Darwin Barney -1-for-4
  • Welington Castillo – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 2-for-8
  • Joe Mather – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-3 with a double

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

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