If you are under break even on the road in a baseball season, a team that’s double digits, you don’t need to make the match. The Chicago Cubs are just that and actually would be the second Wild-Card team of the NL now if the postseason began. Although those teams have seven matches against one another, including the final three of this year at Wrigley Field, starting to look more and more like the Cubs won’t catch the Cardinals in the NL Central. Those are the only games the Cubs have abandoned against a team with a winning record.
The Padres are going to finish with a losing record for a ninth straight time but the future is remarkably bright there with some brilliant young talent headed by Fernando Tatis Jr. (out for the season) along with Wednesday’s starting pitcher, Chris Paddack. The Friars also have a farm system that is stacked. They’ll be a Wild-Card competitor next year, mark my words.
Wednesday’s matchup between these teams is that the next of a four-game set.
The Padres are in the midst of a stretch of 17 straight matches (from Sept. 6-22), that will be their best stretch of consecutive games this past season.
San Diego’s rookie pitchers have combined for 24 victories this year, the 2nd of any team in baseball. Paddack (8-7, 3.54) is one of those and he’ll find some NL Rookie of the Year votes just like Tatis Jr. will, even though the Mets’ Pete Alonso will acquire it.
It’s Paddack’s 25th start of the year and he has just one win in his past six. A bit astonished that the Padres have not simply shut him down but he will be on extra rest here most recently pitching past Wednesday and projecting 5.1 scoreless innings from Arizona. Paddack struck out eight and has whiffed 137 in 129.2 innings. Batters are hitting on just .211 off him. It’s his career look in the Cubs. Paddack is 5-3 with a 3.40 ERA at home.
The Cubs are much from wholesome right now. Shortstop Javier Baez, having another fine season (that he was NL MVP runner-up past year), is not expected to come back before the end of their regular season after a hand specialist confirmed that he has a hairline fracture in his left thumb. The Cubs called prospect Nico Hoerner with this series, with infielder Addison Russell dealing with a head injury, and then he went 3-for-5 with a triple and four RBIs in his debut Monday. Hoerner became the second Cub to introduction at least three hits and four RBIs.
Moreover, third baseman Kris Bryant has been in and out of this lineup of nearer Craig Kimbrel is on the injured list with a minor elbow problem and battling knee soreness. He would be eligible to be activated.
It is veteran lefty Cole Hamels about the mound, and he’s a San Diego native. Hamels (7-6, 3.95) has not won in his past three outings and continued only 3.1 innings out time, allowing five runs and eight hits in a loss at Milwaukee. Hamels has not been good on the street with a 5.66 ERA in 12 starts, but he’ll surely be fired up to pitch in his hometown. In addition, Petco Park is pitcher-friendly.
This season hamels hasn’t confronted the Padres. Manny Machado is career him off. Eric Hosmer 0-for-13. Hunter Renfroe 3-for-3 with a dual.
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