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Padres Preview: Clayton Richard vs. Jon Lester & the Chicago Cubs

The crew sailed across Lake Michigan to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

Cincinnati Reds v San Diego Padres
I bet Clayton Richard is really good at skipping stones.
Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The Padres dropped a close series with the Brewers and have sailed across Lake Michigan to the “friendly confines”, where they face the World Series Champ Chicago Cubs. These are the same Cubs who were swept by these same Padres mere weeks ago at Petco. You know those Cubbies will remember the shame they felt and will be eager to return the favor. Little do they know that the Padres bats are heating up and the arms are fresh!

Clayton Richard is taking the mound for the Padres today against his former teammates. Today will be his first start this season against the Cubs, and you know he’s happy to show them what they let walk away. He’s coming off a gem of a start, coming within one out of a complete game shutout. A two-run blip ended his outing, but he’s been fantastic at times this season. The groundball pitcher profiles well in a park with small dimensions like Wrigley, where the right breeze can carry a fly ball onto Waveland Avenue. The bullpen was taxed just a couple of days ago, so a deep outing would do the bench some good.

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
Jon Lester likes to get strikeouts looking, so much so that he performs a reverse-K interpretive dance move during his windup.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jon Lester has been cruising, as he’s hit his mid-season form. His most recent outing was a seven-inning, one-run, ten-strikeout gem of his own. The veteran four-time All-Star has been particularly tough on lefties, so we might see some lineup changes to try to stack the odds in the platoon’s favor. Lester knows how to pitch efficiently and to induce weak contact, and he gets stronger as he gets into a start, so it’s up to the Padres hitters to square him up and get to him early to stand a chance against this ace and the heavy hitters supporting him.

The Cubs have been struggling this season, and they’re looking for a chance to get back on track. The Padres have some history in their favor, as this series is followed by a homestand where they host the Tigers, so it’s a 1984 do-over. Can the Padres top the Cubbies and then get some revenge against the Tigers? Well, we’re about to find out!

Start time: 5:05PM PDT

Radio: 94.9FM, 860AM (Español)
TV: Fox Sports San Diego
Online: MLB.TV