August 31 – September 2, 2012; vs. Giants – Series Preview

Time to play spoiler as the West Division leading Giants roll into town for a weekend series.  Ever since the Giants got the news that Melky Cabrera was going to be suspended they have taken off, and now hold a four game lead over the Dodgers in a race for the Western Division crown.  The Giants are getting it done with a balanced attack as they are right in the middle of the pack in runs scored and ERA in the National League.  The Cubs are going to need to have a solid offensive approach against the Giants if they want to take this series.  The Giants are a baseball team in every sense of the word, they play, and win as a team.  If the Cubs can do the same thing, and have an approach like they did in the series finale against the Brewers they might be able to play spoiler.  The team could look rather different come Saturday as the rosters will expand, Sveum has cautioned that there might only be six or so call ups, we’ll see, and of course keep you updated.

August 31, 2012 – September 2, 2012; Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

Here are this weekends pitching matchups.

Friday August 31, 2012
San Francisco: Madison Bumgarner (14-8, 2.93 ERA)
Cubs: Chris Volstad (1-9, 6.28 ERA)

Saturday September 1, 2012
San Francisco: Tim Lincecum (7-14, 5.30 ERA)
Cubs: Justin Germano (2-4, 5.91 ERA)

Sunday September 2, 2012
San Francisco: Matt Cain (13-5, 2.82 ERA)
Cubs: Travis Wood (4-11, 4.71 ERA)

Season Series:  Giants lead series 4-0

Prediction:  Giants sweep series 3-0

Thanks for reading,
– George

Too Little Too Late For Cubs

For the first eight innings against Madison Bumgarner the Cubs looked very much like the team that lost 12 games in a row, in the ninth inning the Cubs looked more like the team that just swept the Padres.  Bumgarner breezed through the first 8 innings, throwing just over 90 pitches and looked like he was on his way to his first career complete game, and shut-out.  The Cubs said not so fast as Starlin Castro and Joe Mather each singled with spelled the end of Bumgarner’s night.  Santiago Casilla, who is the new closer for the Giants with Brian Wilson out for the year, entered the game and promptly gave up a three-run home run to Alfonso Soriano and just like that it was 4-3 Giants.  After Reed Johnson finished his horrendous night with a ground out Bryan LaHair roped a double to left field, and was pinch ran for by Ian Stewart.  Darwin Barney followed with a swinging bunt base-hit but Ian Stewart could not advance to third, and he should have, and that was huge.  After a Steve Clevenger ground out that moved runners-up to second and third pinch hitter David DeJesus flied out to center field ending the game.  Paul Maholm was not very good as he could not locate a fastball to save his life.  He lasted five and a-third giving up four runs, all earned, on eight hits, the loss drops him to 4-4 on the season.  Darwin Barney stayed red-hot at the plate going 3-for-4 and Starlin Castro finished the night 2-for-4, he is now hitting .321 on the season.  Another game where the Cubs refused to take a pitch for eight innings then rally just enough to make you think they can pull it out, then they lose.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

Continue reading “Too Little Too Late For Cubs”

Volstad Shines on the Mound, Rizzo Propels Cubs to Victory

Another day, another fantastic start from a Cubs pitcher.  Chris Volstad was stellar again for the Cubs, going 3 innings allowing just two hits, and striking out one.  Volstad has now gone 6 innings this Spring and has yet to yield any runs.  The Cubs also got solid performances from Jay Jackson, Scott Maine, and Alberto Cabrera.  Andy Sonnanstine was roughed up a bit but the Cubs managed to hang on with Cabrera earning the save.

Continue reading “Volstad Shines on the Mound, Rizzo Propels Cubs to Victory”