Game Ten: Cubs (3-6) vs. Giants (7-3)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Villanueva (0-0, 1.35/1.20) vs. Matt Cain (0-1, 8.38/1.45)
Weather permitting … The Cubs will look to get back in the win column on another cold day at Wrigley Field. There is a 30 percent chance of rain with with highs expected in the upper 40s.
While the players try to stay warm, the Cubs offense will have to deal with Matt Cain. Granted the Giants’ ace is off to a rough start to the season, but he is still Matt Cain.
The Cubs are just 1-7 in their last eight games with the Giants with four of those losses being decided by one run … and six of the losses being decided by two runs or less. The Cubs have played close games with the Giants with either a mental or physical error ending up the difference.
The Cubs moved up Darwin Barney’s Gold Glove presentation to this afternoon. The ceremony was originally scheduled for Saturday but Darwin Barney is having the stitches removed from his left knee today and reporting to Iowa for rehab games on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The Cubs are expected to activate Barney from the 15-day DL prior to Tuesday’s game against the Rangers. Barney should help a team that currently leads the majors in errors committed this season (10). Barney has been missed in the field over the first ten games.
Speaking of bad stats, the Cubs’ pitching staff started having problems retiring the opposing pitcher a couple of years back. The problems have not improved and seem to be getting worse. The entire staff appears to be losing focus with the bottom of the lineup … the Cubs staff is allowing the opposing pitcher to reach base at a .364 OBP clip over the first nine games.
Can the Cubs beat one of the best in the game this afternoon? It all starts with Carlos Villanueva …
Carlos Villanueva is coming off a very good outing against the Braves. Villanueva was impressive in his Cubs’ debut and appeared to be well on his way to posting a win … but Kyuji Fujikawa and Carlos Marmol could not hold the lead. Villanueva takes the hill at Wrigley for the first time this afternoon in a Cubs’ uniform. Villanueva is 1-2 in 12 games, one start, at Wrigley with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.
Villanueva makes only his second career start against the Giants today. Villanueva is 2-1 in 13 appearances, one start, with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
Giants Career Numbers against Carlos Villanueva
- Matt Cain – 0-for-1
- Angel Pagan – 1-for-1
- Hunter Pence – 7-for-21 with a double and a home run
- Pablo Sandoval – 0-for-1
- Marco Scutaro – 1-for-3
- Andres Torres – 1-for-4 with a home run
Matt Cain has not been Matt Cain yet this season. Cain tossed six innings of shutout ball on Opening Day against the Dodgers while allowing four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. But in his last start, he could not complete four innings after the Cardinals scored nine runs on seven hits off Cain in 3 2/3 innings.
The Cubs could be exactly what Cain needs to get on track. Cain has owned the Cubs over his career. In 13 starts versus the Cubs, Matt Cain is 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP … last year, 1-0 in two starts with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Cain is 1-1 in six starts at Wrigley with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Matt Cain
- Starlin Castro – 3-for-13 with two walks
- Steve Clevenger – 1-for-5 with a double
- David DeJesus – 4-for-11 with a double, a home run and two walks
- Alberto Gonzalez – 1-for-5 with a triple
- Scott Hairston – 3-for-15 with a home run and four walks
- Dioner Navarro – 0-for-1
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-10 with two walks
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-14 with a double, two home runs and three walks
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …