National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, June 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (18-33) at San Francisco Giants (28-24), 7:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Matt Garza (2-3, 4.22)
San Francisco - Matt Cain (5-2, 2.79)
(Sports Network) - When Matt Garza exited his last start, the Cubs were on
their way to a 12th straight defeat.
Chicago has begun to turn it around and Garza hopes to keep that trend going
tonight in the continuation of a four-game series against Matt Cain and the
San Francisco Giants.
Garza is winless in his past four outings, logging two straight losses
following a pair of no-decisions. He has given up 13 runs in the two defeats,
charged with six of those -- five earned -- on seven hits and a walk over five
innings versus the Pirates on Sunday. Pittsburgh touched him for three homers
to keep the right-hander winless since April 29.
"He got beat by pitches he shouldn't be throwing people, really," Cubs manager
Dale Sveum told his team's official website. "He got beat by his fourth-best
pitch, and he had a great fastball today.
"In those situations, against a couple guys, velocity gets them -- and he
decided to throw changeups. It's not exactly protocol or what the game plan
was. It's unfortunate and they hit them out of the ballpark. It's kind of the
way things are going."
Garza fell to 2-3 with a 4.22 earned run average in nine starts this year,
including a 1-3 mark with a 6.84 ERA in five on the road.
The 28-year-old has faced the Giants only once before and beat them with 6 2/3
innings of two-run ball on Aug. 30 of last year.
The Cubs' posted their longest losing streak since 1997 with Garza's last
start, but rebounded with a three-game sweep of the Padres to begin the week.
That surge came to end with last night's 4-3 loss and the club could struggle
again tonight given that Cain is 5-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 11 career meetings
against the Cubs.
The right-handed Cain will try to win his fifth straight start in this
encounter and bested the Marlins on Sunday, charged with two runs -- one
earned -- on five hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings, though he only
Cain retired 11 of the first 12 batters faced to improve to 5-2 with a 2.79
ERA in 10 starts this season. The 27-year-old has been very good at home,
going 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts.
San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner took a shutout bid into the ninth inning of
last night's opener, but the Giants had to hold on to secure a one-run
Bumgarner, who struck out a career-high 11 and has never pitched a complete
game, opened the ninth by allowing back-to-to-back singles to Starlin Castro
and Joe Mather. Closer Santiago Casilla replaced the lefty on the hill, but
served up a three-run homer to Alfonso Soriano.
A pinch-hitting Bryan LaHair then stroked a one-out double and Casilla
appeared to injure himself fielding Darwin Barney's ensuing infield chopper.
Javier Lopez took over on the mound and Steve Clevenger advanced both runners
with a groundout to first. But Lopez earned his first save of the season by
retiring pinch-hitter David DeJesus on fly ball to center field.
Ryan Theriot collected three hits, scored twice and knocked in a run for the
Giants, who have won four of their last five games to get within four games of
the first-place Dodgers in the National League West.
"We're playing well right now. It's a good vibe in the clubhouse and the
dugout," Giants catcher Buster Posey said.
Angel Pagan continued his hot hitting for San Francisco, going 1-for-4 to
extend his home hitting streak to a franchise-record 25 consecutive games
dating back to 1918 when records were kept.
Paul Maholm gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings for
Chicago, which has dropped eight straight on the road.
"I didn't bury some pitches. They did a good job going the other way with two
strikes," said Maholm.
The Cubs won five of nine versus the Giants a season ago, winning the only
series played in San Francisco.
06/02 10:34:54 ET