Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Giants – 08/31/12

Game One Hundred Thirty-One: Cubs (50-80) vs. Giants (74-57)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Volstad (1-9, 6.28/1.47) vs. Madison Bumgarner (14-8, 2.93/1.02)

Updated 10:10am CDTJeff Beliveau Recalled from Triple-A Iowa – Brooks Raley Optioned to Triple-A Iowa

The Cubs open a three-game series against the first place San Francisco Giants this afternoon. The Giants swept the four-game series in San Francisco in June (June 1 – June 4) and it figures to be a very tough weekend for the Cubs offense.

The Cubs are coming off an impressive win over the Brewers in a game they walked a season-high 11 times … but they struck out 77 times over the seven games of the season against Brewers’ pitching and will face a much better pitching staff for the next three days. It could get very ugly this weekend if the Cubs cannot make more contact than they have of late.

After today’s match-up of Chris Volstad and Madison Bumgarner, Justin Germano is scheduled to face Tim Lincecum on Saturday with Travis Wood squaring off against Matt Cain in Sunday’s finale.

The Cubs are 3-4 over the first seven games of the 10-game homestand and must win this afternoon to avoid their worst month (record wise) since May of 2006. The Cubs posted a 7-22 record in the second month of the 2006 season and enter play today 7-21 in August (7-23 since the deadline).

Dale Sveum is expected to fill his lineup with as many right-handed bats as he can this afternoon. The Cubs are 13-21 in games started by southpaws this season.

In other news … The Cubs are expected to add players to their active roster when rosters expand Saturday. The I-Cubs completed their season Thursday night and players such as Jeff Beliveau, Adrian Cardenas, Tony Campana, Dave Sappelt, Miguel Socolovich, Rafael Dolis and Anthony Recker are on the 40-man roster. Chris Rusin is expected to be added as well to take Brooks Raley’s spot in the rotation.

This afternoon all starts with Chris Volstad

Chris Volstad is coming off his first win of the season and one of his best starts of the year. Volstad tossed 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball while allowing only three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Volstad found a rhythm early, worked quickly and threw quality strikes. Volstad has shown improvement since being recalled at the beginning of the month.

Chris Volstad is 1-2 in his last five starts with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP … a marked improvement from the 0-7 record in nine starts with a 7.94 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP that he posted prior to being demoted to the minors. At Wrigley this season, Volstad is 1-5 in eight starts with a 6.20 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

Volstad did not face the Giants in San Francisco earlier this season and is 1-2 in four career starts against the Giants with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Giants Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Brandon Belt – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Gregor Blanco – 0-for-3
  • Madison Bumgarner – 0-for-1
  • Angel Pagan – 1-for-13 with a double
  • Hunter Pence – 7-for-19
  • Buster Posey – 0-for-3
  • Pablo Sandoval – 4-for-10 with a home run
  • Ryan Theriot – 4-for-14

Madison Bumgarner is arguably the best young southpaw in the game. Bumgarner has been excellent once again this season and has notched eight quality starts in his last 10 outings. Bumgarner is coming off a loss to the Braves in which he allowed four runs on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings … the first non-quality start for Bumgarner since July 4.

Bumgarner is 4-3 in his last nine starts with a 2.31 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP and 3-2 in his last five starts with a 2.29 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Since the break, Bumgarner has struck out 66 while walking 13 in 62 1/3 innings. The 23-year old southpaw is 6-6 in 14 road starts this season with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Madison Bumgarner has already beaten the Cubs once this season. Bumgarner held the Cubs to two runs on eight hits with no walks in eight innings back on June 1 … and he struck out 11 batters. Bumgarner owns a 3-1 record in five career starts against the Cubs with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP (40 strikeouts and seven walks in 34 2/3 innings) … at Wrigley Field, 1-1 in two starts with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Madison Bumgarner

  • Darwin Barney – 4-for-12 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro – 7-for-16 with a double
  • Steve Clevenger – 0-for-3
  • Joe Mather – 1-for-4
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-11 with three doubles and three walks

Chicago Cubs DVD Giveaway
A&E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions have released a new DVD Box set of four of the greatest games in Chicago Cubs history. The DVDs are chock full of historic moments, players and milestones in the club’s history.

The DVD set includes: The Sandberg Game, Game 163 against the Giants on September 28, 1998, the 2008 NL Central Division clinching game against the Cardinals and a game between the Cubs and Phillies from July 12, 1969.

A&E Networks contacted the CCO and asked for us to let our readers know this new DVD set is available on and set aside five copies for us to give to our readers.

Beginning August 27 and running through August 31, the CCO will conduct a daily contest and the winner will receive a copy of the DVD set from A&E.

Here is how the contest works.

There will be only (1) winner per day. All entries must be posted in the comment section with a time stamp prior to first pitch. All entries made after first pitch (7:05pm CDT or 1:20pm CDT) will NOT be valid. If any rules are not followed then those entries will NOT be valid. Winners will NOT be eligible for the remainder of the contest. All entries must include answers for all questions and failure to do so will make that entry invalid. Only (1) entry per day, per person, per IP address.

There will be a daily question based on the day’s starting pitcher followed by (5) tie breaking questions. The person with the correct answer for the first question will be that day’s winner. The tie breaking procedure will follow the order in which the questions are asked, not based on the amount of correct answers. All answers must be exact, close is not good. If more than one entry has all (6) questions answered correctly, the winner will be determined by the first correct answers given.

The winner will be posted in the comment section of that day’s game preview. The winner will have to email the CCO with a correct mailing address. A&E Networks will send out the DVD set to winners within the continental US only.

Contest Five – August 31, 2012

Number of strikeouts for Chris Volstad

  • Tie Breaking 1) Amount of earned runs allowed by Chris Volstad
  • Tie Breaking 2) Amount of hits allowed by Chris Volstad
  • Tie Breaking 3) Amount of walks allowed by Chris Volstad
  • Tie Breaking 4) Amount of home runs allowed by Chris Volstad
  • Tie Breaking 5) The final score of the game between the Cubs and Giants

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Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein