Game Thirty-One: Cubs (24-6) vs. Padres (13-19)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester (3-1, 1.58/1.05/3.15) vs. Cesar Vargas (0-1, 1.10/1.34/4.24)
Weather permitting … The Cubs homestand continues tonight with the first of three against the San Diego Padres. The weather forecast for the next two days is questionable at best so there could be a lot of delays throughout the series with this being the Padres only trip to Wrigley Field this season.
The Cubs split the six games (3-3) against the Padres last season and will have to deal with several players, including Jon Jay and Alexei Ramirez, that A.J. Preller added to his roster in the off-season that have traditionally played extremely well against the organization.
The Cubs will not see Andrew Cashner or James Shields over the next three games but are scheduled to face three starters they have little to no history with in the big leagues.
After tonight’s scheduled matchup of Jon Lester and rookie right-hander Cesar Vargas, Kyle Hendricks squares off against Colin Rea on Tuesday night. John Lackey is lined up for a match-up with lefty Drew Pomeranz in game three of the series.
David Ross will be behind the plate tonight. Don’t be surprised to see Joe Maddon substitute in Tim Federowicz to give Ross a breather when Lester turns the game over to the bullpen.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester picked up a win his last time out against the Pirates in a 6-2 victory in Pittsburgh. Lester completed 5 2/3 innings and did not allow a run while giving up eight hits. Lester was not happy with the way he pitched and said he would be better in his next start.
Lester takes the hill at Wrigley for the fourth time this season. Lester is 0-1 with a 2.21 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in the first three starts against the Reds, Rockies and Braves.
Jon Lester is 0-1 in two career starts versus the Padres with a 2.92 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Lester gave up three runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings to the Padres at Wrigley on April 19, 2015, the only time Lester faced the Friars last season.
Padres Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Melvin Upton Jr.: 14-for-66 with two doubles, three home runs and four walks
- Alexei Ramirez: 9-for-38 with three doubles and two walks
- Derek Norris: 3-for-10 with one home run and five walks
- Jon Jay: 1-for-3 with one walk
- Matt Kemp: 1-for-2 with one walk
The Cubs get their first look at Cesar Vargas tonight. Vargas is making his fourth big league start tonight and has decent numbers in the first three games.
Vargas is coming off his first decision in the majors, a loss to the Rockies at PETCO Park. Vargas gave up one run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
In three starts against the Rockies, Dodgers and Cardinals, Vargas has allowed two runs on 13 hits with nine walks and 12 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.
Cesar Vargas made two starts at Double-A San Antonio before he was called up. Vargas had two no-decisions. In 12 2/3 innings, the 24-year old right-hander allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and 14 strikeouts (1.42 ERA, 0.47 WHIP). Vargas pitched at two different levels in the Yankees system a year ago (Double- and Triple-A) and was 6-0 in 46 games, no starts, with a 3.08 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
No one on the Cubs active roster has faced Cesar Vargas in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …