This is going to be a straightforward, fact-filled game post, not filled with humor or other distractions. I just don't feel like it. If you want that sort of thing, head yourself over to my SB Nation colleague Grant's Giants site McCovey Chronicles. Check out in particular this diary there, especially the first comment.
So, here are the facts: Sean Marshall, who hasn't pitched since July 22 at Washington, returns from the DL today.
Perhaps the extended rest, and the recovery from injury, will do him good. He has thrown 103 innings this year, and so isn't overextended. His last couple of rehab starts for Iowa were outstanding.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
On the other hand, Marshall's worst major league start was May 11 at San Francisco against these same Giants; he allowed nine runs in less than four innings. Four players appeared for the Cubs in that game who are no longer with the club: Neifi Perez, Jerry Hairston, Todd Walker and Scott Williamson.
Matt Cain has faced the Cubs twice in his career. Last year, before he'd even turned 21 years old, he two-hit the Cubs on September 9, allowing only a Hairston single and a Derrek Lee HR. This year, on May 10, the Cubs beat the living daylights out of him, scoring eight runs as they broke an eight-game losing streak.
So who the heck knows?
Here's more platitudes about Mark Prior coming back,including a statement that he "may" pitch in an actual game before the end of the season. I'll believe it when I see it.
About Barry Bonds, who is expected to play today -- his record against the Cubs is his worst against just about anyone. His .247 BA and .485 SLG vs. the Cubs are his lowest against any NL team, and his .371 OBA vs. the Cubs is his lowest against anyone.
Final stat note: the Cubs have scored six runs in each of their last five games. That's the first time they've done that since April 15-19, 2003, and they haven't had six straight six-run games since April 22-28, 2000.
Too bad they've only won one of the five in the current six-run streak.
Discuss amongst yourselves.