The Cubs are 5-1 against the Giants this season, with this being the final regular-season game between the two clubs. Overall they're 15-10 against N.L. West clubs, with seven games remaining (today's, three vs. the Dodgers this weekend, three vs. the Diamondbacks at Wrigley next weekend).
This one won't be easy, because the pitching matchup seems pretty one-sided in favor of the Giants. But that's why they play the games, right? More on the pitching matchup below.
Here are today's particulars.
Denorfia LF, Schwarber C, Bryant RF, Rizzo 1B, Castro 2B, Russell SS, Szczur CF, Haren P, Herrera 3B
Mad Scientist Maddon has come up with more surprises for us. I'd say "Insert 'other split-squad' joke here," but Joe Maddon seems to know what he's doing. Let's hope this one works.
Aoki LF, Duffy 3B, Belt 1B, Posey C, Byrd RF, Tomlinson 2B, Perez CF, Adrianza SS, Bumgarner P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Dan Haren has not been good since he came to the Cubs: a 6.04 ERA in four starts, with a 1.448 WHIP and seven home runs allowed in 19⅓ innings. About the only thing he has done well is not walk hitters: just three walks in those innings. However, there is one thing that gives me hope for this game. Haren has already pitched, and won, a game against the Giants this year, in AT&T Park. Here's the boxscore -- he allowed eight hits, didn't walk anyone, and allowed no homers. If he can repeat that performance, the Cubs have a chance.
Madison Bumgarner is, as you all know, one of the best pitchers in the game. This month, he has a 1.42 ERA in four starts and 41 strikeouts (and just two walks) in 31⅔ innings. If you are thinking maybe he'd be more hittable in day games, nope: 2.98 ERA in eight day-game starts, 3.04 ERA in 17 night-game starts. Don't know what else to say. He's really good. Current Cubs are 45-for-161 against him (.280) with no home runs. Starlin Castro seems to hit him pretty well (10-for-24).
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.