Talk about a powerful 1-2 punch. The Cubs lineup tonight will feature Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant in the first two spots, the former getting his second straight start in the leadoff position. Jason Heyward moves down into the three-hole, with Javy maintaining his cleanup duties. He’ll be followed by Ian Happ (CF), Kyle Schwarber (LF), and Addison Russell. Victor Caratini spells Willson Contreras this evening and will bat in front of his battery-mate, Kyle Hendricks.
Kyle Hendricks is coming off of his best start of the season, though his defense let him down in what ended up being a walk-off win for the Giants. Hendricks was dotting the sinker and kept it down in the zone, which had his sweet-smelling changeup getting all kinds of whiffs. What’s more, he looked more comfortable throwing the curve than he has all season.
Though it only makes up about 6 percent of his total pitches, the curve helps Hendricks to keep hitters guess and it can be a legit weapon when it’s on. That was the case in his last start, when it was a plus pitch for only the third time all season. When he’s able to bring three excellent offerings to the table, the Cubs have a Cy Young-caliber pitcher.
The Padres will send 25-year-old righty Luis Perdomo to the mound to make his seventh start of the season. Initially part of the Cardinals organization, Perdomo was taken by the Rockies in the Rule 5 draft in 2015 and was later traded to San Diego for cash considerations or a PTBNL. As such, he was pressed into action a little earlier than he should have been and has never really caught up.
Perdomo’s got a 7.09 ERA so far this season, but that’s not quite as worrisome as the 5.40 K/9. He’s given up 10 hits and at least six earned runs in two of his last three starts and has nine walks to seven strikeouts over that whole time. He’s kinda like Tyler Chatwood, except without quite as many strikeouts or walks.
Like Clayton Richard last night, Perdomo is going to go most sinker/slider. Unlike Richard, he doesn’t keep them down consistently enough and ends up giving a lot of hard line drives. Despite all that, he’s only given up one homer in just under 27 innings and doesn’t figure to given up many at Petco Park.
His home splits are actually much worst overall, though, as he’s allowed a .397/.474/.606 slash with .452 wOBA in 14 innings. That could change a great deal in just a few innings, but let’s hope the Cubs push those numbers even higher. The stats tell us this will be a big game for the Cubs, which makes me feel like it’s a trap.
We’ll see if the Admiral Akbar GIFs are necessary when the game starts at 9:10pm CT on ABC-7 and 670 The Score.
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 14, 2018