Game Forty-One: Cubs (29-11) vs. Giants (25-19)
- Game Time – 6:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: FOX – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – AT&T Park, San Francisco
Jon Lester, LHP (4-2, 1.88/0.96/3.14) vs. Matt Cain, RHP (0-5, 5.87/1.47/4.49)
Jon Lester takes the mound tonight as the Cubs aim for the series win at AT&T Park, which would be the first series victory in San Francisco for the organization since a three-game sweep almost three years ago (July 26-28, 2013).
David Ross will be behind the plate with Lester on the hill. Javier Baez was scheduled to play third base before Jason Heyward’s injury. Jorge Soler should be in left field. Will Kris Bryant be in right field or at third base?
Bruce Bochy showed Friday night that once the Giants get on base the plan is to run and run against the Cubs. David Ross figures to be very busy controlling the run game.
Joe Maddon will have a lineup tonight tilted to the right side which will favor Matt Cain slightly. Cain has shown a ton of improvement of late even though his numbers on the season say otherwise. Left-handers have hit .354/.398/.549/.947 against Cain this season while right-handers have managed a .283/.318/.485 line with a .803 OPS.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester is coming off another excellent outing. He was just outpitched in a 2-1 loss to the Pirates. Lester gave up one run on two hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings last Sunday at Wrigley. Lester took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but could not record three outs before giving up a run on a pair of hits.
Lester is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 1.96 ERA and 1.04 WHIP (four runs on 14 hit with five walks and 18 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings).
In three road starts this season, Lester has been about as good as it gets. Lester is 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Lester has allowed two runs on 17 hits with three walks and 13 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.
The Giants reportedly pushed to sign Lester before he chose the Cubs, and offered him more money to pitch in San Francisco. Lester is a perfect 3-0 in three career starts against the Giants with a 1.11 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Lester faced the Giants one time last season and picked up a win after allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings. The Cubs won 7-3 in the game at Wrigley on Aug. 7.
Look for the Giants to push Lester defensively tonight. Bruce Bochy should call for a high number of bunts and there will be a lot of green lights on the bases.
Giants Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Denard Span: 8-for-23 with one double and five walks
- Hunter Pence: 2-for-12 with one walk
- Buster Posey: 4-for-11 with one double
- Brandon Belt: 0-for-6 with one walk
- Brandon Crawford: 1-for-6
- Matt Duffy: 1-for-2 with one double and one walk
- Angel Pagan: 0-for-3
- Kelby Tomlinson: 0-for-3
Matt Cain appears to have turned the corner. Over the last two starts he’s looked a lot like the Matt Cain of old. And if that’s the case, the Cubs are in for a tough night.
Cain took the loss two starts ago to the Blue Jays after allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings. The Giants did not put up a run in a game with a 4-0 final score. Cain received a no decision against the Diamondbacks six days ago. Cain limited Arizona to one run on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.
At AT&T Park this year, Cain is 0-3 in five starts with a 5.40 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Over his last three starts, Cain is 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.
For his career, Cain is 6-4 in 17 starts versus the Cubs with a 3.08 ERA and 1.09 WHIP … last season, Cain was 0-2 in two starts against the Cubs with an 11.00 ERA and 2.33 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Matt Cain
- Miguel Montero: 12-for-57 with one double, three home runs and 11 walks
- Dexter Fowler: 5-for-28 with one double, one triple and 11 walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 3-for-21 with four walks
- Jason Heyward: 1-for-6 with one double and one walk
- Kris Bryant: 2-for-5 with one home run and one walk
- David Ross: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-2 with one walk
- Tommy La Stella: 1-for-1 with one walk
- Addison Russell: 2-for-2 with two doubles
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …