Tag Archives: Chicago Cubs

Episode #123: Are We There Yet?

arewethereyet

“Sorry, son, you better piss in a bottle, cuz we have a long way to go”

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Nope. Not yet. The Giants are making great strides, winning 3 series in a row, and opening with a win in their 4 game series with Chicago. However, they still find themselves 9 games back of Colorado and in a precarious hole. That said, if they had been .500 or worse, their season really would’ve been over by now, or close to it.

There is life. Not much, but it’s something to build upon.

Chad and Eric talk about where the Giants are more than a quarter of the way through the season, and what it’ll take to erase the Rockies’ lead, week by week. We revisit Eric’s excellent article on the history of playoff berths with a record similar to the Giants’, and although far from a lock, it’s encouraging to see that it’s been done multiple times.

Join us for episode 123 of the TortureCast!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Episodes, Uncategorized

End of an Era

moore

Should Moore have started the 9th inning in game 4?

It’s been just a little over 48 hours since the Giants’ season came to an end in one of the most gut-punching, low-blow, torturous ways possible. Pouring salt on the fresh and open wound was the fact that the Dodgers somehow, although in the exact same position as the Giants, being down 2-1 at home, won games 4 and 5 by one stinking run, and are now facing the Cubs in the NLCS.

The even-year magic is officially dead.

DEAD

As a lifelong 42-year old fan of the Giants, this one hurt. It hurt a lot. Ok, not quite as much as 2002, but I’d rank this at #2 on my personal pain index of postseason failures. Sure, they lost in 2000 to the Mets (I was there, by the way), after J.T. Snow hit a game-tying HR off of Armando Benitez in the 9th, but lost it and the series in the 10th. (Why did we ever sign Benitez, anyway). Then there was J.T. Snow getting thrown out at the plate in Florida to end the 2003 NLDS. The 1989 World Series sweep by the A’s, the 1987 collapse against the Cardinals in the NLCS (CANDY MALDONADO!). The 103 wins in 1993.

I’ve been a conscious, breathing, sentient being for all of these failures. However, the magical even years of 2010, 2012 and 2014 essentially erased all of that pain and sorrow, and then some. How many fans have this much surplus in championship gold in baseball? Certainly the turn-of-the century Yankees, and maybe the Red Sox are somewhat close with three in 10 years. Three in five is amazing. Four in seven would have even been more amazing. But, it wasn’t meant to be.

The 9th inning collapse on Tuesday hurt so much, that I literally didn’t sleep. And I tried. I went to bed immediately. Was under the covers by 9:45 pm. I was still awake at 7 am, never having left the bed. Is that okay? Does that mean I have a problem? I broke out in cold sweats imagining how Bochy could’ve altered the outcome, or how perhaps, I could conjure a time machine and literally alter time by planting suggestions in Bochy’s ear or taking a bat to Zobrist’s ankles. I imagined an alternate universe where the Giants won games 4 and 5 (yes, they would have won game 5) and beat the Dodgers in the NLCS and somehow beat the Indians for retribution for the Warriors and their 4th ring.

I love this team too much.

Here’s a question that will never be answered, really: Why not let Moore start the 9th?

Now, many are on board with this idea, and many are not and are fine with the conventional wisdom plan of baseball.

Personally, I was begging for Moore to start the 9th. Implored the baseball gods. But, when I saw that Derek Law was on the bump, I was partly horrified, but also vexed. Bochy said he was going to close with Romo/Smith. Ok, Romo pitched two innings the night prior, but so did Law, so that can’t be the reason why Romo didn’t start the 9th.

Before I get too deep in the “conga line of doom” that Bochy rolled out, let me get back to the Moore hypothesis:

  1. Moore was CRUISING! He allowed 2 hits through 8 IP, and had struck out 10, while only walking 2. More importantly, he retired the last 8 batters in order! The Giants were out-hitting the Cubs 11-2 after 8 innings!
  2. The bullpen sucks. Ok, we all know that, and yes, at some point, Bochy would have to have relied on his bullpen in the NLCS and/or World Series. But did he HAVE to in this elimination game? NO!
  3. If pitch count was a concern, Moore threw 133 pitches in a no-hitter attempt in LA. Of course this game is more important than a no-hitter, it’s an elimination game! Moore could have faced at least one batter, as he was at 120 pitches. He gets on, they go to the pen. He gets him out, he faces another guy. Butterfly effect and shit.
  4. Moore had not pitched in 9 days since the regular-season closing win against the Dodgers, where Moore had a masterful 8 IP. Of course Romo closed it out, but it was a 6 run lead.
  5. Moore would probably not have pitched until game 4 of the NLCS on 10/18, meaning he would have had 7 days of rest. Basically, the few extra pitches wouldn’t have mattered much.
  6. Moore’s OPS against after pitching 101 or more pitches is better than when he pitches less. Basically, in 18 of his 34 starts in 2016 when he went over 101 pitches, he was money.
  7. DID I MENTION THE BULLPEN SUCKS AND ALSO BLEW THE SAVE THE NIGHT BEFORE?!

Look, it was an elimination game. The type of game where Bochy has brought in Bumgarner to pitch 5 innings (yes, that was game 7 of the World Series). But, you can’t get there if you don’t trust your bullpen, which presents the paradox for Bochy. If he continues to push starters to the brink (Bochy led the league in pitches thrown by starters), it may have a counter-effect on the confidence of the pen. Reality is, the pen failed over and over and over in the second half, and it almost cost them the postseason, and surely cost them the division (and of course, the NLDS), so I don’t think there would have been any psychological effect. I mean, the Giants lost the west by 4 games, but lost 9 games after leading going into the 9th and blew 30 saves overall, far more than the Dodgers.

So, I was surprised to see Law in. Then Kris Bryant hits, what normally would have been an easy ground out to Crawford, but it went in between the shift that the Giants were employing. Then, the quick hook to Lopez. He’s been a saint, a savior, a deft specialist to get that key left hander out. Alas, his age showed as he walked Rizzo, something YOU CAN NEVER DO! Bochy immediately goes to Romo, and he turns Zobrist to the left side, and he hit the only really solid contact of the inning, a double down the right field line that made the score 5-3 and put the tying run at second. This is when my sphincter was in full clinch mode.

Bochy, again!, went to another reliever, Will Smith. Maddon countered with Contreras, who hit a 25 hopper up the middle to score both runs and tie the game. Smith stayed in the game and Heyward had a horrible bunt right back to Smith, who promptly fired to Crawford for the out, but Crawford sailed his throw to Belt for an error, which allowed Heyward to take second, a crucial play. Crawford also had an error earlier in the game which cost the Giants a run, something not to be forgotten.

At this point, the new Giant-killer Baez was coming up, so Bochy went to his fifth and final reliever of the inning, Hunter Strickland. Once again, a not-so-hard-hit-grounder found its way up the middle, delivering Heyward to the plate in what would eventually be the deciding run as Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

We saw it happen so many times this year, including two losses when having three run leads in the ninth. With all the magic that Bochy pulls, he appeared to be the frantic kindergartener in the 9th, playing matchups, something that he stopped doing in mid-September, which seemed to stabilize the bullpen.

No one could be trusted. No one could find a rhythm, no one knew their role.

The ninth inning is special territory, reserved for those who have the mental fortitude or possession of a crazy gene to inherit and thrive under that pressure.

Giants’ brass made it clear that they will pursue a closer this offseason in today’s end of year press conference. How can they not?

There’s a reason we call this site and podcast “TortureCast.”

Go Cubs?

Chad

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Even Year Magic Goes Code BLUE, then Sucks us Back in

celebrategame3nldswin

This is like the fourth image for this article tonight. So many possibilities. It was the missed call on Gillaspie, then the triple by Gillaspie, then the Chevron HR by Bryant, and now finally, the game-winning double by Panik. That’s 10 consecutive elimination game victories for the Giants, a record that may never be broken. (Photo: John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports)

Holy crap. It’s midnight.

Well, Giants fans. Even-Year Magic has a trick or two up its sleeve, as it turns out.

It seemed alive and well in the first half, then experienced a near-death crisis after a 2 1/2 month-long bout with some rare disease, before rising from the ashes with a sweep of LA to close out the season. It even squeezed out another magical toot when Conor Gillaspie sent a ball soaring into the New York night to win the Wild Card and send them up against the best team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs, who have experienced the opposite of “even-year bullshit.”

Most of us had high hopes, even a little swagger and confidence, much like Johnny Cueto’s shimmy in game 1 of the NLDS that would have won 9 of 10 such contests. But, that lingering cough that Even-Year Magic had came back, allowing a late inning homerun by Baez that sealed a 1-0 victory for the cubbies. Or, was Even-Year Magic (bullshit) just getting warmed up?

Then, game 2. Many fans thought that Matt Moore deserved the start after his last two performances down the stretch. However, Bruce Bochy, the god of postseason decisions, decided to go with Jeff Samardzija, because he “earned” it. That blew up in his face, as the Shark gave up 4 runs in the first 2 innings, a deficit that the Giants would never overcome.

Even-Year Magic is now in prime post-season form, ready to pounce, right?

Game 3. Elimination game. Madison Bumgarner, postseason wizard. Of course, the Giants would win this game and send us hopefuls to the wishing well and wearing all manner of good-luck-superstitious attire to somehow pull out the last two games of the series, duplicating the magic of 2012 when the Giants won three consecutive elimination games TWICE, against Cincinnati and St. Louis.

But, after 24 consecutive scoreless inning in elimination games, Bumgarner did something a bit uncharacteristic. He missed Posey’s target. Against a pitcher. With 2 outs. And 2 strikes.

Jake Arrieta, a good hitting pitcher (.262 w/2 HR), promptly launched a three-run homer to the only Cubs’ fan sitting in a section just beyond the left field fence.

Now, Even-Year Magic was on life support, or planning the best bullshit party we’ve ever seen. Not just that, but Cubs’ magic (or impending doom) was materializing. It wasn’t Kris Bryant, or Rizzo, or Fowler, or any of the usual suspects.

The Goddam pitcher. Against the best postseason pitcher in history.

Then, Even-Year Magic gets a 2nd, or 32nd breath, as the Giants rallied in the 8th, putting two runners on, forcing Joe Maddon to put in Chapman for a six-out save. After striking out Hunter Pence, wild card hero Conor Gillaspie sent a ball just over the outstretched glove of the right fielder for a 2 run triple, giving the Giants their first lead of the night. Crawford followed with an RBI single, and moved to third with one out. This is where things started to swing back in the Cubs’ direction, because, of course it would.

The Giants couldn’t plate Crawford, which proved to be a huge run, should they have gotten it. But, two weak groundouts prevented that from happening, and Romo took the ball into the 9th. We all knew what could happen; feared it; lamented it’s coming, but maybe with Even-Year Magic present, it couldn’t possibly, right?

Leadoff walk.

F that.

Then Kris Bryant did what good hitters do, hit a mistake, a hanging slider right down the middle into the night. But, that wasn’t enough. No. It had to scrape the top of the Chevron car and bounce into the stands for a 2 run game-tying homer. Looking at the angle, because it was hit so high, it appears that if the car wasn’t there, it would have been a double off of the wall. No matter, Romo retired the next three in order.

Yeah, another blown save. 30 in the regular season, including 9 losses when the Giants led going into the 9th. Surely this would prove to be the 10th.

The Giants had a shot at a walk-off. After a one-out walk by Belt, Posey, who was 3-3 on the night, laced a laser into deep right field, but Almora Jr., made an incredible game-saving catch as he sprawled out on the warning track to snare the line drive. Belt gambled, and was running on the play, so he was doubled off, which means, if that hit got down and by Almaro, Belt scores easily, and the Giants win. But no. Of course not. That drive couldn’t have been one foot to the right. One foot back. One foot short. Almaro couldn’t have been playing one foot deeper or to his right. It was as close as close could be.

Romo retired the side in order in the 10th, with a little bravado vs. Baez, which, honestly, was stupid. Dude, you gave up the tying homerun that led to the end of the season (a lot of people thought). Now you’re showboating?

Will Smith entered the 11th and retired the side in order. The Cubs were down to their last relief pitcher, although they had an assortment of starters. Panik led off the home half with a single, was sacrificed to second by Blanco, but neither Trevor Brown nor Denard Span could knock him in, sending it to the 12th.

Ty Blach, who looked so good in the regular season, and in his brief outing earlier in the NLDS, retired the Cubs in order in the 12th. After the Giants yet again, could not muster a run, Blach entered the 13th into a maelstrom that he worked hard to escape. After Black got Russell out, singles by Baez (only the second hit since the 4th inning, the other hit was the one that TIED the game in the 9th), put pressure on the rook. However, pinch-hitter David Ross grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.

 

Then, just when you thought that old crafty lefty, Even-Year Magic had its last moment of glory, it decided to make it’s presence known once again. Brandon Crawford delivered a two-strike double just prior to Joe Panik driving a double to the deepest part of the yard, easily delivering the win to the Giants dugout in a raucous celebration amongst fans and players alike.

The Giants live for at least another day. It’s their 10th consecutive elimination game win. Guys, that is an insane number. Even if they lose tomorrow.

Yes, this magic could run out tomorrow, but boy, we’ve witnessed its glory over two memorable games and four memorable post seasons. Go get ’em, Matt Moore, you even-year-grinning assassin. God damn, my liver can’t take this. And it’s my wedding anniversary tomorrow.

Chad

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Next Three Games are Elimination Games

traviswood

Travis Wood became just the second relief pitcher ever to hit a postseason home run. (Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports)

Ok, the title of this article is a little prophetic, I admit.

After the Giants fell to the Cubs 5-2 tonight, they find themselves in a 0-2 hole in the best of five NLDS, a situation in which they need to win three straight games, which they did twice in 2012 against the Reds and then the Cardinals (being down 3-1 in a best of seven). So, they’ve done it before, but against this Cubs club? They are clearly the better team, but that doesn’t always guarantee a ring, obviously.

If a comeback is to materialize, it begins on Monday with Bumgarner, Mr. October 2, toeing the rubber against Jake Arrieta. Bumgarner has 23 consecutive scoreless innings, and the Giants have won nine consecutive elimination games. Sounds good, but even if they extend that streak to 10, they’ll need Moore to pitch well in game 4 and of course, Cueto back in Chicago for game 5. Possible, but not likely.

It was crucial for the Giants to split in Chicago, and the key was definitely game 1. That is a game that could have gone the other way, but the Giants made crucial base-running mistakes, and never got a hit with a runner in scoring position. Tonight, Cubs pitchers knocked in three runs, one more than the Giants have in two games.

Samardzija “earned” this start, according to Bruce Bochy, but his poor stats at Wrigley, and against teams he used to play for (9+ ERA), confirmed the foreshadow. He struggled with pitch count and location, and allowed a crucial two-run single to starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks, which extended the inning for the next ensuing RBI hit, putting the Cubs up 4-0. George Kontos had an excellent third inning, but after Travis Wood relieved Kyle Hendricks after he exited the game after being hit on the arm by a Pagan line drive, Kontos promptly gave up only the second homerun hit by a relief pitcher in postseason history, in the fourth, to finalize the score at 5-2. That energized the crowd at Wrigley shortly after Giants fans and the media were wondering if the Billy Goat curse manifested itself in the injury to Hendricks.

Apparently not.

We’ll never know if Moore would have performed better, but many Giants fans preferred the latter option, given his last two starts that helped the Giants seal the second wild card. Besides, it’s hard to win a game at Wrigley with just two runs. We may get a chance to see Moore on Tuesday, should the Giants take game 3.

On the positive side, the Giants bullpen threw six innings, only giving up one run (that rogue relief pitcher HR by Wood), and Ty Blach looked good, setting down the 3-6 hitters in order. He looks to be a valuable asset and possible starter in 2017.

After their horrid second half, the Giants are fortunate to be in the NLDS, erasing that memory, but their performance in these first two games is a reminder of the offensive struggles that permeated the summer months. Of course, facing the #1, 2, and 3 leaders in ERA in the NL in their first three games didn’t help that. Jake Arrieta struggled at times this year, but has a swagger that almost matches Bumgarner, and is a Cy Young winner, so I don’t think Monday will be a cakewalk, especially if the Giants don’t score more than a few runs.

We’ll have to wait and see, one game at a time, if the even-year magic has run its course or not.

Chad

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Episode #114: Heading to Chicago! NLDS Preview

bumgarner1

MadBum continued his legendary postseason performance with a 3-0 complete game shutout victory over the Mets in the NL Wild Card game. (photo: AP)

Download the podcast here, or stream it below!

Willie, Chad and Eric soak in the post-wild card game glory of another legendary performance by Madison Bumgarner and another unlikely postseason hero as Conor Gillaspie hits a 3-run homer in the 9th to defeat the Mets 3-0 and move on to face the best team in the majors, the Chicago Cubs.

The Giants have now won 11 consecutive postseason series, tying the Yankees, and Bum has 23 scoreless innings in elimination games in the postseason, and lowers his road postseason ERA to a microscopic 0.50, easily the best in the history of baseball.

We revel in the stats, the momentum and talk about how the pressure now is really on the Cubs.

Join us for episode 114, it’s a good time!

Leave a comment

Filed under Episodes

The Friday Five: Here Come The Cubs

johnny-cueto-giants-porpoise-kiss

Johnny Cueto/Instagram

The San Francisco Giants are currently 25-18 and on an 8-game win streak. They lead the NL West by 3.5 games over both Colorado and LA. Will it last? Is this the team we were expecting? Well, kind of, but the pitching has been far better than imagined. So let’s take a look ahead to the weekend and back on the week that was in this edition of “The Friday Five”. Remember, I always look ahead before I look back. This is in case the Giants are struggling and I don’t want to focus on negative baseball things. Obviously, that’s not the case now.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Episode 105: Timmy the Angel

giantsatsdzoo

Hey, look at that. Brandon Belt getting hit on by a giraffe.

 

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

Chad and Eric are giddy about the Giants’ 6-game winning streak that is buoyed by the team’s pitching, with an ERA of 1.86 over that stretch. Cain has two consecutive great starts, and even Peavy wasn’t bad. The top three continue to dominate, all with sub-3 ERAs, and the 3 run homeruns by Peavy and Crawford were huge game-deciders.

Of course, there’s Timmy, who decided to sign with the Angels. Bochy said that he might look good in red, but we’re not so sure (*cough* 2002 *cough*).

Let’s keep this “first place” thing a thing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Episodes

The weekend that wasn’t

I really wanted to put a positive spin on this past weekend. I wanted to say that when Joe Panik and Andrew Susac return the team will be better. The Mike Leake Injury is a fluke. He may very well come back and pick the rotation up. It’s all going to get better. That’s what I want to think deep down. It may all be true.

I can’t do it. This weekend hurt. The Giants have dealt with being a streaky team all year so this just may be how it is. I don’t know.

There’s eight weeks left of baseball to be played and the Giants face the Dodgers 7 more times. I’ve thought all along the best shot is the NL West. The Cubs are a good team and have the ability to win more games than the Giants. The Dodgers are vulnerable and the Giants can catch them. It’s suddenly “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain” with LA.

I guess those are some things that could happen. But I don’t know that now. You don’t know that now. It’s just swell the Giants have a day off to regroup. There’s hope for this season yet and the Giants have been winning lately at home. In their last three homestands the Giants have gone 4-2, 4-2, and 5-1. Positive vibes, I’m hoping to keep them.

Last night I wasn’t feeling them. Below is what I wrote after the game. This is after I took a walk in the rain while the sun was shining. If you want to read about an agonizing weekend, keep going. If you don’t, good for you for being so positive, because I’m not feeling it right now.

Come back Susac. Be ok Aoki. Please continue to hit baseballs Joe. I miss the team.


So, that weekend sucked. The Giants went in to Chicago and didn’t win a game. From the beginning the Cubs jumped ahead and they never looked back. There were only three times in the whole 4-game series that the Giants really put pressure on the Cubs. One of those was with no one on base.

The Buster Posey at bat in the 9th inning on Thursday was the first. It was a one run game but you could see Cubs fans worried about the at bat. Posey is a credible threat. He’s an MVP and 3-time trophy winner. Along the way Posey has won a batting title and hit some clutch home runs. So Cubs fans had a reason to be worried. Buster flew out, the inning was over after Hector Sanchez did something.

Matt Duffy in the 9th inning on Saturday with Nori Aoki on base was the second time the Giants threatened the Cubs. Even then, Duffy hasn’t homered in a while. He was more likely going to shoot a single through the right side or drive one to a gap, but not homer. This one’s kinda iffy.

The most agonizing sequence of the entire series was the 9th inning on Sunday afternoon. The Giants couldn’t get anything going against Jake Arrieta all day but managed to hang around thanks to Jake Peavy and the bullpen. It was only 2-0. The Giants were within striking distance. Brandon Belt led off with a floating hit. Brandon Crawford followed that with a screaming double down the right field line. It was an impressive piece of hitting considering Rizzo was playing close to the bag with Belt on first base.

Things were looking good. The Giants are one of the best offenses in baseball. They should put a crooked number up. Hector Rondon wasn’t as sharp as he had been on Thursday night. Ehire Adrianza got hit in the foot on a 1-2 pitch. Rondon was all over the place. Finally, things were going the Giants way. Maybe they can pull this out and have a happy flight back from Chicago feeling like they got one back.

Then Hector Sanchez swung at three straight pitches that never looked like strikes. All 3 bounced in the dirt and he swung right over the ball. Next was Angel Pagan. Today was supposed to be his day off but because Aoki got plunked in the head earlier he found himself in a situation to redeem some of the talk about how he shouldn’t be out there anymore. Pagan gave it try. He did his best. He really did. I can’t get on him for this at bat. He fouled off 3 pitches with a 2-2 count before missing one.

Gregor Blanco was the final hope. That’s ok. He’s the guy that’s getting buzz on social media lately. Everyone believes in him. With Pagan’s knees and not so good hitting Blanco has become the backup quarterback of the Giants. Everyone is clamoring for him to play so of course he’ll come through. And he fought and fought until he just stood there. He struck out looking on a pitch he should have fouled off to the left side. Instead of keeping up the fight or coming through the Giants struck out three straight times.

It was a kick you in the soft spot series for Giants fans. I can’t wait until they get home.

-Eric

@2outhits

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

And so it begins…

flickr - Jerry Reuss

flickr – Jerry Reuss

Here it comes. The meat and potatoes of the season. Starting tonight in Chicago the San Francisco Giants play 26 straight games against teams with records above .500. Every one of the teams is in contention for either the wild card game or a division championship. It’s such a rough stretch of games that LOLKNBR has dubbed it #ScheduHell.

Here’s the way this gauntlet lays out with records as of the beginning of play on Thursday the 6th.

4 @ Cubs 58-48

2 v Houston 60-49

4 v Washington 55-51

3 @ St. Louis 68-39

4 @ Pittsburgh 62-44

3 v Cubs 58-48

3 V St. Louis 68-39

3 @ Dodgers

There are 2 days off sandwiched in there. This coming Monday after the Cubs series and one after the road trip to Pittsburgh and St. Louis. I feel like they catch a break here as the final game in Pittsburgh is an ESPN Sunday night game and the Giants have to fly back west after an east coast night game. Unlike earlier this season when the team twice came home and played the next day, this time they get a day off to freshen their bodies.

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel. After the Dodgers series the Giants have what can be called an easier September/October. The farthest east they have to travel is Denver. The only time the Giants play an opponent that is over .500 is 4 games at home against LA during the final week of the season.

——————————————————————————————————————–

The beginning is in Chicago. I’ve paid a lot of attention to the Cubs this season. As some of you may remember I’m from Chicago originally and going to Wrigley Field is how I grew up watching baseball. You can read about that over at 2outhits.com if you’d like. It’s the genesis of me joining TortureCast in the first place.

I’ve always been a Giants fan but I rooted for the Cubs as well. I wasn’t some jerk that wanted to see the team all my friends root for be a failure every year. That’s just how it worked out. While a lot of people remember 1989 because of the Loma Prieta earthquake, which is a good reason by the way, I remember that year because the Giants beat the Cubs in the NLCS. It gave me bragging rights over all my friends from the age of 10 on. No matter what my Cubs fan friends tell you, the tie-breaker in 1998 did not make up for 1989.

It’s not often that both the Cubs and Giants are good at the same time. At least not recently. So I’m a little extra pumped about this weekend. Here’s some notes I dug up about these two teams.

  • The Giants start this series a half-game ahead of the Cubs for the 2nd wild card spot and 2 games behind the Dodgers for the division.
  • The Cubs recently won 6 straight games before falling to Pittsburgh last night.
  • Four of the six wins came in a sweep at Milwaukee. We know how bad they are, the Giants swept them this year as well.
  • The Giants haven’t lost a series at Wrigley Field since 2008.
  • Kyle Schwarber is the hot phenom tearing it up for the Cubs right now. In 24 games he’s batting .342 with 5 HR and an OPS at 1.031. Nine of his twenty six hits have gone for extra bases.
  • Sunday starter Jake Arrieta has been the stud of the Cubs rotation. He’s 12-6 with a 2.50 ERA and averages just over 1 strikeout per inning. Arrieta’s WHIP is 1.002 and he’s only given up 9 home runs in 147.2 innings.
  • This is a homecoming for Angel Pagan, he broke in with the Cubs back in 2006. Don’t expect him to go crashing into the ivy to celebrate.
  • Buster Posey likes Wrigley Field. He’s hit .354 with 3 HR’s and 3 2B’s there in 14 career games.
  • The Giants are 29-12 in games Hunter Pence has appeared and 30-36 without him this season. It sure is nice to have him back and healthy.
  • If you haven’t read it yet, go check out this USA Today article on Matt Duffy. Great to see him getting some national love.

I’m sure I’ll have more through the weekend. Like I said I’m a little excited to watch these 2 teams go at it. It’s either that or I have become afflicted with KelbyMania.

-Eric Nathanson

@2outhits

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles