Game Forty-Five – Cubs (16-28) vs. Padres (21-26)
- Game Time – 9:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – PETCO Park, San Diego
Jake Arrieta (0-0, 2.70/1.88/2.93) vs. Eric Stults (2-4, 4.50/1.57/4.95)
The Cubs begin a long road trip tonight with the first of four in San Diego against the Padres. The Cubs play 10 games over 11 days in three cities and 20 of the Cubs next 26 games will be played outside of Wrigley Field. The Cubs have three games on the schedule in San Francisco starting on Monday afternoon and the trip wraps up next Sunday with the last of three at Miller Park.
It will be interesting to see how the Cubs respond tonight after a bad loss on Wednesday afternoon and a long flight to the West Coast. Rick Renteria said he was looking forward to returning to San Diego in his first trip back to PETCO Park as the Cubs’ manager. Renteria will not stay at his home over the next three days due to the lengthy commute.
While Renteria will be happy to be in San Diego throughout the weekend, it would be safe to say Anthony Rizzo is not too thrilled to be back at PETCO Park. Rizzo has made it known he does not care for PETCO. Rizzo collected four hits in 14 at bats in San Diego last year and was 9-for-30 with three doubles in seven games against the Friars last season.
After tonight’s matchup of Jake Arrieta and the lefty Eric Stults, Edwin Jackson was scheduled to face southpaw Robbie Erlin on Friday night, but San Diego placed Erlin on the 15-day DL on Thursday afternoon with a sore left elbow. The Padres have not announced a starter for Friday or Saturday against Travis Wood. Jason Hammel and Ian Kennedy will pitch the finale on Sunday afternoon.
Right handers (.340/.371/.510) and lefties (.291/.291/.357) have collected their hits against lefty Eric Stults this season. Rick Renteria should run out a balanced lineup against a southpaw he should be able to provide a very good scouting report to help his offense.
The Padres will wear throwback jerseys the next three days to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ’84 team that lost to the Tigers in the World Series … but beat the Cubs to get to the Fall Classic. The Padres’ organization is pretty consistent with the way they welcome the Cubs to PETCO Park every year.
The West Coast trip all starts with Jake Arrieta …
Jake Arrieta is coming off back-to-back outings that were cut short because of high pitch counts. Arrieta lasted only four innings on the South Side in his second start of the season. Arrieta had issues with his control and command and gave up four runs, three earned on nine hits in four innings with one walk and one strikeout. Arrieta pitched his way into several deep counts and was not around long enough to qualify for the win.
Arrieta followed his four-inning outing on the South Side with a four-inning start in St. Louis his last time out. Arrieta gave up one run on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts in four innings. Arrieta has put a strain on the Cubs’ pen and admitted as much following his start in St. Louis. Arrieta has always had the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter. Arrieta has yet to put it together at the Major League level and the Cubs are finding out why Arrieta was available last July in a deal for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger. Chris Bosio was able to straighten Arrieta out, somewhat, at the end of last season. And he’ll have to do it again.
Tonight marks the third start Arrieta has pitched outside of Wrigley Field. Arrieta has two no decisions outside of Wrigley this season with a 4.50 ERA and a very concerning 2.38 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta makes his second career start against the Padres tonight. Arrieta really struggled in his only other start versus the Friars. Arrieta gave up six runs, five earned, on five hits with three walks and no strikeouts in three innings at PETCO Park on June 20, 2010.
Padres Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta
Eric Stults has pitched better this season than his traditional stat line indicates. Stults has held teams to three earned runs or less in seven of his nine starts and to two runs or less in five of nine starts. Stults had a bad first outing in Miami and a bad outing in San Francisco in which he gave up five earned runs in each of those outings. After posting a 1-3 record in his first six starts of the season with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP, Stults is 1-1 in his last three outings with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.
Like most Padres’ pitchers, Stults is a lot better at PETCO than on the road. Stults is 2-0 in four home starts this season with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. And he’s coming off an excellent start in Denver. Stults held the high-flying Rockies offense to two runs, one earned, on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Eric Stults was 0-1 in two starts against the Cubs last season with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. For his career, Stults is 1-4 in six starts against the Cubs with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Eric Stults
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …