Since MLB sees fit to schedule teams in the most awkward and bizarre ways possible, it has been quite some time since the Cubs played a late night game on the West Coast -- not since the first week of May, when they played in Los Angeles. Also, each year the Cubs play more than two series against one team outside the NL Central -- this year it's the Giants, who made two visits to Wrigley Field earlier this season, while this is the first trip to San Francisco by the Cubs in over a calendar year.
Great scheduling. Can't wait to see what the computers spit out for 2012; it should be out in about two weeks.
Meanwhile, this series could be interesting, that is, if you like long periods of time without any runners crossing the plate. The Giants are last in the NL in runs. By a lot -- 60 runs fewer than the Nationals, who are 15th. The Giants are first in the NL in fewest runs allowed, and have allowed only 80 home runs, which is the fewest in the major leagues -- by a lot; the next fewest is the Phillies, with 91. Even so, the Giants have managed a negative run differential (-17 through Sunday), which is the primary reason they're four games out of first place.
As for the Cubs, they're second-worst in runs allowed in the NL. Only the Astros are worse. But the Astros just split a four-game series with the Giants, and the scores of the games were 3-2, 2-1, 2-1 and 4-3, and it took 11 innings for the last one to get to 4-3 (it was tied 2-2 after nine).
Meanwhile, the Cubs are hitting just .232 with RISP. You already know the Cubs aren't good with RISP. But did you know that ranks 14th in the NL? Guess who's last. Right -- the Giants.
All of this is to say that this game starts at 9:15 p.m. CDT Monday night. Don't be surprised if you wake up Tuesday morning and it's still going in a 0-0 tie.
Castro SS, DeWitt 2B, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, Byrd CF, Colvin RF, Soriano LF, Soto C, Wells P
Torres CF, Keppinger 2B, Beltran RF, Sandoval 3B, Huff 1B, Cabrera SS, Belt LF, Stewart C, Lincecum P
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2011 - Randy Wells||5-4||17||17||0||0||0||0||96.0||106||60||59||19||36||62||5.53||1.48|
|2011 - Tim Lincecum||12-10||27||27||1||1||0||0||179.0||135||55||49||10||70||189||2.46||1.15|
Randy Wells has not faced the Giants this year. But on September 22, 2010 at Wrigley Field, he threw 7.2 shutout innings in a nice little 2-0 Cubs win. But -- again -- in two career starts in San Francisco, he has a 9.58 ERA and has given up three home runs. But -- yet again -- the Giants hardly hit home runs any more. In short, who knows?
Tim Lincecum threw seven innings of one-run ball, striking out nine, against the Cubs on June 29 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won that game anyway. Last year, on August 10, 2010 in San Francisco, Lincecum gave up six runs to the Cubs in four innings, the only game the Cubs won in a four-game series. In short, who knows?
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check local listings) and CSN Bay Area. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 9:15 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 10:15 pm, 11:15 pm and midnight CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.