Game Eleven: Cubs (4-6) vs. Giants (7-4)
- Game Time – 12:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 2.63/0.80) vs. Madison Bumgarner (2-0, 1.32/0.88)
Updated: 10:05pm CDT – Cubs placed Kyuji Fujikawa on 15-day DL with muscle sprain in right forearm. Cubs recalled RHP Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs will shoot for two in a row against the defending champs this afternoon. Dale Sveum’s team has had a lead in each of the first two games before the pitching staff gave the runs right back. While Friday’s game ended on a positive note with Starlin Castro’s walk-off double, the bullpen must figure out how to hold a lead if they are given one today.
The bullpen issues have been frustrating, to say the least, through the first ten games. Most figure the Cubs will finish the year at the bottom of the central division but losing a game late will not help build a winning culture.
Runs figure to be at a premium this afternoon with Jeff Samardzija and Madison Bumgarner on the bump.
Look for Dale Sveum to run out his right-handed lineup this afternoon against the lefty, Madison Bumgarner. The Cubs have struggled against southpaws this season. The offensively challenged Cubs could have more problems today unless Dave Sappelt and Scott Hairston have big days. The Cubs were looking for Sappelt and Hairston to provide run production against lefties and both players have not produced yet in limited action.
The Cubs were scheduled to honor Darwin Barney in pre-game ceremonies this afternoon. But due to Barney beginning a rehab assignment today with the Iowa Cubs, Barney received his Gold Glove award on Friday. The team is still handing out replicas to the first 10,000 that enter the old ballyard.
Can the Cubs beat the Giants on back-to-back games? It all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija is coming off an extremely dominant four innings in his last start. Samardzija lost it in the fifth then left with two outs in the sixth inning. Samardzija struck out a career-high 13 batters, walked four, hit a batter and uncorked two wild pitches that helped the Braves tie the game in the fifth. Samardzija ended up allowing four runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings and took another step forward in his development.
Samardzija admitted after the game that he could have done more to put his team in position to win the game. Samardzija has tremendous stuff and with a little more experience and maturity he could become the number one the Cubs are looking for to lead their rotation for the next several years.
Jeff Samardzija has allowed just six hits and five walks while striking out 22 batters in his first 13 2/3 innings of the season.
For as good as Samardzija was last season, he was even better at Wrigley Field. In 12 starts, Samardzija posted a 4-4 record with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP while teams his more than 30 points lower against him at home.
Jeff Samardzija makes his second career start against the Giants this afternoon. Samardzija does not have a decision in six career appearances, one start, versus San Francisco (2.53 ERA and a 1.97 WHIP). Last season, Samardzija faced the Giants in the Bay and held them to two runs on seven hits with five walks and six strikeouts in five innings.
Giants Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Joaquin Arias – 1-for-3
- Brandon Belt – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Gregor Blanco – 0-for-1
- Brandon Crawford – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
- Angel Pagan – 1-for-4 with a walk
- Hunter Pence – 2-for-5 with a double and two walks
- Buster Posey – three walks
- Pablo Sandoval – 0-for-1
- Andres Torres – 0-for-3 with a walk
Madison Bumgarner is one of the best southpaws in the game, and he is off to a good start to the season. Bumgarner dominated the Dodgers in his first start (eight innings of shutout ball, two hits, six strikeouts and no walks) then beat the Rockies in his last outing. Bumgarner struggled a little and issued six walks but still put his team in position to win the game.
Bumgarner had problems on the road last year (6-8 in 17 games with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP) but took care of the Dodgers in Los Angeles in his first start.
As with the case with a majority of the Giants’ staff, Madison Bumgarner has had a lot of success against the Cubs over the course of his career. In six starts, Bumgarner is 3-2 with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, 1-2 in three starts with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Madison Bumgarner
- Welington Castillo – 1-for-2 with a double
- Starlin Castro – 8-for-18 with a double
- Steve Clevenger – 0-for-3
- Alberto Gonzalez – 0-for-3
- Scott Hairston – 0-for-9 with a walk
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-13 with three doubles, a home run and three walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …