Game Fifty-One: Cubs (18-32) vs. Giants (27-24)
Game Time – 9:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188/914
Location – AT & T Park, San Francisco
Paul Maholm (4-3, 4.62/1.26) vs. Madison Bumgarner (5-4, 3.14/1.11)
With the series against San Diego in the rearview mirror, the Cubs kickoff a difficult 10-game, three city road trip tonight with the first of four against the San Francisco Giants. After Dale Sveum’s Cubs complete their first trip of the year to the West Coast, they play three in Milwaukee before ending the journey next weekend in Minnesota.
The Cubs play their second wrap-around series of the season (Philadelphia, April 27-April 30) this weekend and will face the top four pitchers in Bruce Bochy’s rotation. After tonight’s southpaw matchup of Paul Maholm and Madison Bumgarner, Matt Garza will face Matt Cain on Saturday night, Travis Wood and Barry Zito on Sunday with Jeff Samardzija taking on Ryan Vogelsong in the finale on Monday afternoon.
The Cubs were 5-4 in the nine games against San Francisco a year ago.
Steve Clevenger is expected to receive a bulk of the playing time over Koyie Hill with Geovany Soto and Welington Castillo on the disabled list. Soto and Castillo are both at least a week away from beginning rehab assignments. Once Castillo is healthy enough to play, he is expected to stay with the I-Cubs and Hill will reportedly stay with the Cubs until Soto returns.
Madison Bumgarner dominates left-handed hitters (.186/.213/.242 with two doubles and no home runs) so look for Dale Sveum to load his lineup with as many right handers (.250/.296/.388 with 12 doubles and seven home runs) tonight as possible.
In other news … The Russell family joined a small club Tuesday afternoon when James Russell picked up his first big league save. Jeff Russell saved 186 games during his 14-year big league career and the Russells became just the fourth father-son duo to save a game in the Major Leagues. The other three: Julio and Jamie Navarro, Pedro Borbon Jr. and Sr., and Steve and Jason Grilli.
The Cubs are 2-9 in games started by southpaws this season … and tonight all begins with Paul Maholm. Paul Maholm is coming off another rough outing and has really struggled in his last three starts. After posting four straight wins, Maholm has not pitched very well since beating Atlanta on May 9. The Cubs have lost each of his last three starts and struggled with his command against his former team the last time out.
Maholm allowed only two runs on four hits in five innings but walked a season-high five batters with just two strikeouts. Maholm received a no decision in a 3-2 loss to the Bucs.
The veteran lefty has really struggled on the road this season. Maholm is 1-1 in four starts with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP, teams have hit .275 against him away from Wrigley (3-2 in five home starts with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP, teams have hit .223).
Even with his rough stretch, Maholm is 2-1 in his last five starts with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
Paul Maholm is 2-1 in eight career starts against the Giants with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Maholm did not face San Francisco a year ago and was 1-0 in two starts against the Giants in 2010 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Maholm is winless in four career starts (0-1) at AT & T Park with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP.
Giants Career Numbers against Paul Maholm
- Emmanuel Burriss – 1-for-4 with a walk
- Melky Cabrera – 2-for-9 with a double and a walk
- Aubrey Huff – 1-for-8 with a home run and a walk
- Angel Pagan – 6-for-18 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
- Buster Posey – 1-for-3 with a double
- Pablo Sandoval – 4-for-11 with a double
- Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-3
- Ryan Theriot – 12-for-35 with five doubles and four walks
After a tremendous start to the season (4-1 in five starts in April with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP), Madison Bumgarner has been struggled of last and is just 1-3 in his last five games with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Bumgarner had trouble with the Marlins in his last outing. Miami scored five runs, four earned, on seven hits in six innings. Bumgarner walked two and struck out seven. In his last two starts (13 2/3 innings), Bumgarner has struck out 17 batters and walked only three.
Madison Bumgarner is 3-1 in four starts at AT & T this season with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.
Tonight will be the fifth time Bumgarner has started a game against the Chicago Cubs. Bumgarner is 2-1 in the first four with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP … last season, 1-1 in two starts with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Madison Bumgarner
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-6
- Darwin Barney – 2-for-9 with a walk
- Starlin Castro – 5-for-12 with a double
- Koyie Hill – 2-for-7
- Reed Johnson – 1-for-6
- Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-9 with three doubles
- Ian Stewart – 0-for-1
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