Game One Hundred Twenty-Four: Cubs (78-45) vs. Padres (53-71)
- Game Time – 9:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – PETCO Park, San Diego
Jon Lester, LHP (13-4, 2.86/1.07/3.76) vs. Edwin Jackson, RHP (3-3, 5.36/1.51/4.72)
The Cubs three-city trip out West moves to San Diego tonight for the first of three with the Padres. After dropping two of three in Denver, the Cubs look to get back on track behind Jon Lester against former teammate Edwin Jackson and the pesky Padres.
The Cubs had issues with the Padres at Wrigley back in May (May 10-11), losing the three-game series (1-2) and being outscored 15-12. The Padres have played better ball since the break (15-20) and deadline (8-11) and are just one-game under .500 at PETCO Park (30-31).
As was the case in Denver, the Cubs have traditionally struggled in San Diego. This will be a difficult series for the Cubs but one Joe Maddon’s team should at least win with Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks scheduled for the three games.
The Cubs take on Edwin Jackson tonight, the first big free agent signing by Theo Epstein’s front office. Jackson did not pitch to the unrealistic expectations placed on him and actually crumbled under the pressure of pitching for the Cubs. Jackson is on the last season of the four-year, $52 million contract the Cubs signed him to in December 2012. The Cubs are responsible for all but the Major League minimum of his $11 million salary.
After tonight’s matchup of Jon Lester and Edwin Jackson, Jake Arrieta takes on lefty Christian Friedrich on Tuesday night (9:10pm CDT). The series in San Diego wraps up on Wednesday afternoon (2:40pm CDT) with Kyle Hendricks on the hill opposing right-hander Paul Clemens.
Jason Heyward returns to the starting lineup tonight after getting four days to clear his head and hit the reset button. Heyward is very important to the Cubs moving forward. If Heyward continues to struggle at the plate, Joe Maddon should consider batting him ninth just to keep his game-changing defense in right field.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester makes his first ever start at PETCO Park tonight. Lester is coming off a solid outing against the Brewers. Lester pitched into the seventh inning and allowed one run on three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. As Lester pointed out after the game, he was not sharp and was the beneficiary of a five-run first (and a struggling Brewers team).
Lester is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 2.29 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. And on the road this season, Lester is 6-2 in 12 starts with a 3.88 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.
Jon Lester beat the Friars earlier in the year at Wrigley. Back on May 10, Lester allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six innings. For his career, Lester is 1-1 in three starts against the Padres with a 3.44 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
Padres Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Alexei Ramirez: 10-for-39 with four doubles and three walks
- Derek Norris: 3-for-13 with one home run and five walks
- Wil Myers: 2-for-11 with one double and one walk
- Yangervis Solarte: 0-for-11
- Brett Wallace: 0-for-3
- Jabari Blash: 0-for-1
The Cubs get their first look at former teammate Edwin Jackson in a Padres jersey. Jackson is on his third different team since the Cubs released him July 27, 2015. Jackson signed with the Braves, was released in November. Jackson signed with the Marlins a couple of weeks before Spring Training. After Miami released him, the Padres inked Jackson on June 20.
As has been the case his entire career, Jackson has been inconsistent at best with the Padres. Jackson has shown how good he can be with excellent outings against the Pirates, Nationals and Giants. In two of his other starts (Reds, Rays), Jackson allowed a combined 14 runs on 19 hits with five walks and six strikeouts in nine innings.
In three starts at PETCO Park this season, Jackson is 2-1 with a 5.12 ERA and 1.34 WHIP.
The Cubs must make Jackson work early. Jackson has the stuff to be a dominant pitcher in the big leagues.
Cubs Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson
- Jason Heyward: 5-for-20 with one double, one home run and four walks
- Miguel Montero: 6-for-15 with two doubles, one triple, one home run and two walks
- Ben Zobrist: 3-for-13 with two doubles, one home run and four walks
- Dexter Fowler: 3-for-10
- Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-2 with one walk
- David Ross: 0-for-2
- Kris Bryant: 0-for-1
- Addison Russell: 0-for-1
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-1 with one home run
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …