Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 06/03/12

Game Fifty-Three: Cubs (18-34) vs. Giants (29-24)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188/914
Location – AT & T Park, San Francisco

Travis Wood (0-1, 5.94/1.20) vs. Barry Zito (4-2, 3.41/1.33)

The Cubs begin what figures to be a very busy week with the third of a four game series in San Francisco. With the Rule 4 Draft beginning Monday and with Jorge Soler being granted free agency by Major League Baseball, the next week figures to be anything but boring. Soler’s agent, Barry Praver, has requested that offers for his client be submitted by Thursday (June 7).

It does not figure to get any easier for the Cubs’ offense this afternoon. Dale Sveum’s Cubs have struggled mightily this season against left-handed starters (2-10) and Barry Zito has had their number over the years. Look for Dale Sveum to load his lineup with as many right-handed bat as he can, including Koyie Hill. Lefties are hitting just .214/.267/.302 against Zito this year with only five extra basehits (four doubles, one home run) while right handers are hitting .238/.332/.360 with 17 extra basehits (10 doubles, two triples and five home runs).

The Cubs have been held to one run or less in five of the last 11 games.

Travis Wood was on the mound the day the Cubs snapped the 12-game losing streak. Can Wood help end the nine-game road skid and the current two-game losing streak?

This afternoon all begins with Travis Wood

After two solid starts at the big league level, Travis Wood struggled in his last start with the wind howling out at Wrigley. Wood could not keep the ball in the park on Memorial Day and served up not one, not two but four home runs. Three of the four shots Wood allowed that afternoon were of the solo variety and he was long gone by the time the Cubs ended their 12-game losing streak. Wood was charged with six runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

The Cubs are 2-1 in his three starts at the Major League level and while he received a no decision in his last start, it was the first win this season posted by the Cubs in a game started by the fourth slot in the rotation. Wood needs to concentrate on throwing quality strikes this afternoon.

Travis Wood has not beaten the Giants in two attempts. Wood is 0-1 with a robust 6.75 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP, last season (June 10) he received a no decision in San Francisco after allowing two runs on 11 hits with three walks and four strikeouts in eight innings. Both of his starts against the Giants have come at AT & T Park (nine runs on 18 hits with five walks and seven strikeouts in 12 innings).

Giants Career Numbers against Travis Wood

  • Emmanuel Burriss – 1-for-4
  • Brandon Crawford – 0-for-2
  • Aubrey Huff – 3-for-7 with a double
  • Angel Pagan – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Buster Posey – 0-for-3
  • Ryan Theriot – 1-for-5

Even when he is having a bad season, Barry Zito has always pitched well against the Cubs. Unfortunately for this version of the Cubs, Zito is having a good year.

Zito began the year 1-0 in his first four starts with a 1.67 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Zitho held the likes of Colorado, Cincinnati, Miami and the Dodgers in check. He has struggled a little of late and is just 3-2 in his last six starts with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP. Zito has not allowed more than four earned runs in an of his starts but his short outing against the Brewers two starts ago (eight runs, four earned, on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts in three innings) really skewed his numbers

Barry Zito is a perfect 2-0 in four home starts this season with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.30 WIHP.

Barry Zito is 2-3 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Zito beat the Cubs the only time he faced them last season (two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings) … the last time the Cubs beat Barry Zito was September 26, 2009.

Cubs Career Numbers against Barry Zito

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-13 with a home run and two walks
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-1
  • Starlin Castro – 3-for-6 with a triple
  • David DeJesus – 0-for-6
  • Reed Johnson – 7-for-26 with two doubles and a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-44 with a double and five walks
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-13 with a triple and a walk

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax