The Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres will play a three-game series at Petco Park from August 6 through August 8, 2012. The Cubs' probable pitchers include Travis Wood, Brooks Raley and Jeff Samardzija. The Padres' probable pitchers include Eric Stults, Ross Ohlendorf and Clayton Richard.
The Cubs had lost 12 consecutive games before they completed a three-game sweep of the Padres from May 28 through May 30. The Cubs have lost five consecutive games heading into this series. The Cubs have a 43-63 record. The Padres have a 46-64 record. The Cubs have a 16-39 road record. The Padre have a 24-30 home record.
All times are central time zone. The probable pitchers are updated as of August 6 on Cubs.mlb.com. The Cubs are represented by the pitchers in italics. Batter versus pitcher data is from ESPN.
August 6, 9:05 p.m.
The Cubs defeated the Padres 11-7 on May 28. Wood earned a no-decision after he surrendered six earned runs and four home runs in five innings. The fly-ball pitcher should benefit from being in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Current Padres hitters are 15-for-45 (.333 batting average) with a .360 OBP (on-base percentage) against Wood. Will Venable has two homers in seven at-bats. Chase Headley is 5-for-9 (.556 batting average) with four RBIs and two homers.
August 7, 9:05 p.m.
Brooks Raley (MLB Debut) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (3-2, 6.27 ERA)Matt Garza was supposed to make his return from a triceps cramp that he suffered on July 21. However, his arm has continued to flare up during bullpen sessions. Brooks Raley will make his MLB debut. The 24-year-old pitcher has a 4-8 record with a 3.62 ERA in 14 starts at Triple-A Iowa. He has 69 strikeouts in 82 innings pitched.
August 8, 5:35 p.m.
Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37 ERA) vs. Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01 ERA)
Samardzija earned his fifth win of the season when he surrendered three earned runs in seven innings against the Padres on May 29. The Cubs won 5-3. Samardzija wouldn't record another quality start until July 2.
Current Padres hitters are 11-for-42 (.262 batting average) with a .367 OBP against Samardzija. Carlos Quentin is 3-for-5 (.600 batting average) with a homer and double.
The Cubs haven't adjusted to all of the newcomers on their roster. They have the perfect opportunity to get back on track against a team that's almost as bad as them. They need Wood and Samardzija to get out of their slumps. The pitcher-friendly environment at Petco Park should help them.
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid-90s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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