The Chicago Cubs are determined to end the season strong. They have 11 games left. Four games are at home, and then they end their season playing four games at San Diego and three games at Houston.
Their first and continuing challenge is their final game with the San Francisco Giants. The Chicago Cubs have posted the probable starting pitchers at their website. While a playoff contender, I don’t think the Giants are that good; they just don’t have the hitting, and they are riding a thin line even getting to postseason. Should they get there, I doubt they’ll get very far.
Going for the Giants this evening will be Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner has a 5-6 record with an ERA of 3.27. His recent three-game statistics are puzzling in that he is 0-2 but has an ERA of 1.35 and has recorded 16 strikeouts. This probably reflects the Giants’ weak hitting. In his starts against the Cubs, he has not done well, failing to get any decision with a 4.76 ERA and only recording three strikeouts.
Ryan Dempster will be going for the Cubs. Dempster’s overall stats include a record of 14-10 and an ERA of 3.50. He has been tough in his last three starts, with a record of 2-1 and also sporting a stingy ERA of 1.45 but with 18 strikeouts. Against the Giants, Dempster is mediocre, going 4-6 with an ERA of 3.89.
Looking at the way the first two games shook down, I would have to say that the Cubs have the edge in this game. I have a theory that the further into a road trip a series goes, the home team has the greater advantage each day that goes by. Also, the Cubs are simply hitting better than San Francisco, and I think they have a better chance of getting to Bumgarner than the Giants do of getting to Dempster.
We always have to keep in mind that perhaps the real drama going on is the status with Mike Quade. Will he be hired for next year? As long as the Cubs keep winning, he will be.
Chicago Cubs’ Website, “Probable Pitchers”