Ah, Spring in Chicago, either it’s great or horrible, usually no in between. Hopefully the weather cooperates today, and all weekend as the Cubs welcome the defending champion San Francisco Giants to town for a four game set. Should be some great baseball on display this weekend, hopefully for both teams. As usual the Giants boast of formidable pitching staff that will most definitely pose a challenge for the Cubs anemic offense.
The Cubs split the two game series with the Brewers as the final game was rained out.
The Giants swept the Rockies in a three game series at home.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Thursday, April 11, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Friday, April 12, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago
- Wednesday, April 13, 2013 – 12:05 PM CST on FOX
- Sunday, April 14, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on WGN TV
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71)
– Career vs. Giants (4 appearances, 2 GS) (0-3, 5.54)
Game Two – Carlos Villanueva (0-0, 1.35)
– Career vs. Giants (13 appearances, 1 GS) (2-1, 4.15)
Game Three – Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 2.63)
– Career vs. Giants (6 appearances, 1 GS) (0-0, 2.53)
Game Four – Edwin Jackson (0-2, 5.73)
– Career vs. Giants (5 appearances, 4 GS) (2-2, 4.73)
Game One – Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 8.44)
– Career vs. Cubs (15 appearances, 9 GS) (4-5, 5.73)
Game Two – Matt Cain (0-1, 8.38)
– Career vs. Cubs (13 GS) (6-2, 2.45)
Game Three – Madison Bumgarner (2-0, 1.32)
– Career vs. Cubs (6 GS) (3-2, 2.79)
Game Four – Tim Lincecum (1-0, 4.91)
– Career vs. Cubs (10 GS) (4-4, 3.43)
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:
Something happened in the Brewers series, the Cubs found some offense, not only offense, but clutch offense. In both games the Cubs mounted comebacks, one successful, and one not so successful. Regardless, it was good to see guys having good at bats and driving the ball when they needed to. Welington Castillo has been a consistent threat at the plate since day one for the Cubs, he’s hitting .381 on the season with two doubles, a home run, and five RBI’s. Nate Schierholtz is also swinging a hot bat as he is hitting .304 on the season, and sports an impressive .385 OBP. Alfonso Soriano is scuffling, he’s back to missing his pitch and then getting himself out on the pitchers pitch. He’s hitting .194 on the season and has no extra base hits, or RBI’s. The Cubs pitching is starting to show some dents, but for the most part the starters have been great. Hector Rondon has been very good out of the pen, while Shawn Camp has struggled of late.
It’s a former Cub that is leading the offensive attack for the Giants, Angel Pagan is hitting .361 in the early going. Pablo Sandoval is also swinging a hot bat hitting .345 on the season with two home runs and six RBI’s, and has only struck out once in 29 at bats. Brandon Belt is struggling at the plate as he is only hitting .148 with only two extra base hits and no RBI’s. The Cubs won’t see Barry Zito in this series, usually that’s a bad thing, but not this year, Zito started on his comeback trail last year, and has continued it this year as he hasn’t given up a run so far this year in two starts over fourteen innings. Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain have been knocked around a bit as Vogelsong has a 8.44 ERA, and Cain has a 8.38 ERA, when was the last time you saw that?
The Cubs usually play up to their competition, at home at least, I think they play well enough to split this four game series. If they get a surprisingly solid performance from Feldman and Villanueva they might take three of four.
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
Here we go again I guess. Just a week removed from one of the worst losing streaks in team history the Cubs are working on another one. For the third straight game in San Francisco the Cubs got solid pitching and couldn’t find any offense. Travis Wood was the hard luck loser today as he went seven innings, only allowing one run on three hits while walking two and striking out seven. The Cubs once again could not get anything going against a softy tossing left-handed pitcher. We touched on this earlier in the year, it’s an uphill battle no matter who is in the lineup. Four hits were all the Cubs could manage against Zito as Barry went 8+ innings earning his 5th win of the season. Ian Stewart and Reed Johnson were the only Cubs with hits, each guy had two. The Cubs road losing streak now sits at ten, they look to avoid the sweep and break the losing streak tomorrow afternoon. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Finally the Cubs have a reason to feel good about themselves as they are coming off a three game sweep over the Padres. Hopefully they use that sweep to carry some momentum across the Country and into San Francisco as the Cubs take on the Giants in a four game set. In order for the Cubs to be successful they need more of the patience they exhibited in the series finale against the Padres. The deeper hitters get into counts against this very good pitching staff the better off they will be. The Giants come into this series with the 4th best ERA in the National League at 3.38. On the plus side the Giants have some trouble scoring runs as they are tied for 10th in NL with 204 runs.
The Cubs will miss Tim Lincecum, but that might be a bad thing as he has been probably the worst Giants starter this year. Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain head up the 2012 rotation and the quicker the Cubs get those two out of the game the better. As I mentioned, the Giants are struggling to score runs, a big reason is the absence of Pablo Sandoval at third, they are a much different offense without him. The Cubs pitchers need to pound the zone and use the ballpark to their advantage, the quicker the outs the better, if they can do that I don’t think a split is out of the question. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.