Chicago Cubs: 7/29-7/31 Series

Chicago Cubs: 7/29-7/31 Series

There won't be Shawn Estes, but there will be Dusty and Kenny and a few other familiar faces the Giants will be facing as they travel to Wrigley Field to begin their first road trip of the second half. Coming off a very strong homestand, the Giants will look to carry that momentum onto the road, where they have always excelled. Schmidt vs. Wood? How's it going to turn out?

OVERALL PREDICTION: GIANTS
What defines a good team is a team that is able to win at home and to win on the road. The Giants have always been a good road team, and have proven to be great at home as well with their recent 10-1 homestand. Everything was happening for the Giants... Good pitching, clutch hitting, solid defense... Everything is going well for the Giants in the second half of the season.

The Cubs stand as a .500 team, with ups and down throughout the season and through their recent games. They mirrored the Giants' last series, winning the first and the last games but losing the second.

The Giants won't be so easy on the Cubs because they Cubs took the series at Pac Bell earlier this season. The Giants will be going into the Windy City seeking revenge, and nothing will taste as great as beating their old manager and former teammates.

Things To Look For:

  • Schmidt vs. Wood... need I say more?
  • how the Giants perfrom against Carlos Zambrano

    SERIES QUESTIONABLES:
    San Francisco:

  • J.T. Snow (1B): strained groin (day-to-day status)
  • Benito Santiago (C): left hand (to be activated from 15-day DL on Tuesday)

    Chicago:

  • Tom Goodwin (CF): hamstring (15-day DL)

    Starters:
    Damian Moss (9-6, 4.75 ERA)

  • Cubs batting .275 against him
  • only gave up one homerun to Cubs batters (Gonzalez)

    Jason Schmidt (10-4, 2.41 ERA)

  • Cubs batting .249 against him
  • > skipped last start because of mild tendonitis

    Kirk Rueter (7-3, 4.30 ERA)

  • Cubs batting .269 against him
  • received no decision in last start

    Matt Clement (7-9, 4.37 ERA)

  • Giants batting .304 against him
  • only gave up two homeruns to Giants (Perez, Bernard)
  • Rich Aurilia batting .583 against him

    Kerry Wood (10-7, 3.38 ERA)

  • Giants batting .196 against him

    Carlos Zambrano (8-8, 3.26 ERA)

  • Giants batting .000 against him
  • only faced four Giants once (Bernard, Feliz, Torrealba, Snow)

    PREDICTION: TIED
    It seems the pitching match ups were just right for this series. Clement is the guy who you would want Moss to go up against, sitting on about the same ERA. Moss has been great since his return to the starting rotation and is gaining more confidence with every start.

    The second match up is a duel for all baseball fans to drool over. Kerry Wood and Jason Schmidt. Two of the best arms in the league today go head to head, with Schmidt coming off a mild case of injury to his throwing arm, and Wood struggling as he is, this may be more of an interesting showdown than it appears.

    Rueter's return from injury has given him a chance to bounce back from his rough outings. Zambrano has been great for the Cubs and is probably the Cubs' best starting pitcher next to Wood, which makes him a perfect match up against Rueter, who, arguably, may be the Giants' second best starter.

    First Base:
    J.T. Snow (.273)

  • .212 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (6-19): two 2Bs, four RBIs, two strikeouts
  • vs. Wood (1-15): one homerun, two RBIs, six strikeouts
  • vs. Zambrano (0-0): one walk

    Andres Galarraga (.309)>

  • .297 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (0-2): two strikeouts
  • vs. Wood (3-12): one homerun, four strikeouts
  • never faced Zambrano

    Eric Karros (.330)

  • .321 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Moss (2-8): two RBIs
  • vs. Schmidt (17-42): two 2Bs, one homerun, ten RBIs, eight strikeouts
  • vs. Rueter (15-48): two 2Bs, three homeruns, twelve RBIs, four strikeouts

    Hee Seop Choi (.233)

  • .000 against Giants pitchers
  • never faced Moss
  • vs. Schmidt (0-3): two strikeout
  • never faced Rueter

    PREDICTION: TIED
    Snow will return to the lineup after taking a few days off to nurse his earlier groin injury, but Galarraga has been delievering in Snow's place. Karros has great numbers against Giants pitching, and Choi is a fast rising bat for the Cubs.

    Second Base:
    Ray Durham (.288)

  • .262 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (2-10): one 2B, one strikeout
  • vs. Wood (2-12): one 2B, one homerun, two RBIs, four strikeouts
  • never faced Zambrano

    Neifi Perez (.276)

  • .292 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (7-22): two 2Bs, one homerun, three RBIs, two strikeouts
  • vs. Wood (3-9): one homerun, three RBIs, two strikeouts
  • never faced Zambrano

    Mark Grudzielanek (.305)

  • .221 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Moss (1-5): one strikeout
  • vs. Schmidt (9-35): three 2Bs, one homerun, seven RBIs, four strikeouts
  • vs. Rueter (12-49): one 2B, two homeruns, four RBIs, five strikeouts

    PREDICTION: TIED
    Besides his two homerun game, Durham has been struggling recently. Perez has been a decent replacement off the bench, for both the second base and shortstop position, but has been playing too much. He'll need a few more days off and a few more pinch hits and less playing time to gather himself. Grudizielanek has been a consistent hitter recently for the Cubs, but has had not so great numbers against Giants pitching.

    Shortstop:
    Rich Aurilia (.269)

  • .291 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (7-12): one 2B, one RBI, two strikeouts
  • vs. Wood (4-21): one homerun, four RBIs, six strikeouts
  • never faced Zambrano

    Alex S. Gonzalez (.241)

  • .286 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Moss (1-3): one homerun, one strikeout
  • vs. Schmidt (1-7): one 2B
  • vs. Rueter (1-5): one 2B

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Aurilia is starting to be consistent with his bat again, even though he's not launching balls into the bleachers. He will need to have more base hits, especially now with the starting lineup back, he will be in the bottom of the batting order and will have many RBI oppurtunities. Gonzalez has decent numbers against Giants pitching, but is three for fifteen against the three starters.

    Third Base:
    Edgardo Alfonzo (.243)

  • .306 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (0-7): two strikeouts
  • vs. Wood (2-10): one strikeout
  • never faced Zambrano

    Pedro Feliz (.230)

  • .250 against Cubs pitchers
  • never faced Clement
  • never faced Wood
  • vs. Zambrano (0-1)

    Aramis Ramirez (.277)

  • .266 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Moss (0-6)
  • vs. Schmidt (4-8): two 2Bs, one homerun, four RBIs
  • vs. Rueter (3-15): one 2B

    Ramon Martinez (.275)

  • .263 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Moss (1-4)
  • never faced Schmidt
  • vs. Rueter (1-3): one RBI, one strikeout

    Lenny Harris (.178)

  • .214 against Giants pitchers
  • never faced Moss
  • vs. Schmidt (2-8): two 2Bs, one RBI
  • vs. Rueter (0-1)

    PREDICTION: TIED
    This will be the first time Ramirez faces the Giants as a Cub, being traded from the Pirates earlier last week. He has been struggling, even in Pittsburg, and has carried that into Chicago. Alfonzo was quietly getting back into his groove with an elevan game hitting streak, but his jammed finger has prevented him from playing as much as he could have. Feliz has been a great player off the bench, not just for Alfonzo, but also for left field and first base.

    Catcher:
    Benito Santiago (.289)

  • .177 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (3-12): one RBI, two strikeouts
  • vs. Wood (1-11): one 2B, four strikeouts
  • never faced Zambrano

    Yorvit Torrealba (.248)

  • .000 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (0-2): one strikeout
  • never faced Wood
  • vs. Zambrano (0-1)

    Alberto Castillo (.300)

  • .125 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (0-4): one RBI
  • never faced Wood
  • never faced Zambrano

    Damian Miller (.233)

  • .225 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Moss (2-2)
  • vs. Schmidt (1-13): one 2B, one RBI, two strikeouts
  • vs. Rueter (9-31): six strikeouts, one homerun, seven RBIs, seven strikeouts

    Paul Bako (.200)

  • .182 against Giants pitchers
  • never faced Moss
  • vs. Schmidt (3-10): two RBIs, six strikeouts
  • never faced Rueter

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Santiago will return to the lineup for this series, the question is will he help his team out. Torrealba and Castillo have been doing great in the catcher's spot in Santiago's absence, which gives the Giants reassurance to know that it is possible to give Santiago more days off. Miller does not have good numbers in the season or against the Giants.

    Left Field:
    Barry Bonds (.331)

  • .353 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (6-14): one 2B, three homeruns, seven RBIs, one strikeout
  • vs. Wood (5-18): one 2B, one 3B, three RBIs, three strikeouts
  • never faced Zambrano

    Moises Alou (.298)

  • .352 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Moss (2-4)
  • vs. Schmidt (7-27): three 2Bs, one homerun, five RBIs, one strikeout
  • vs. Rueter (4-20): three RBIs

    Troy O'Leary (.220)

  • .192 against Giant pitchers
  • never faced Moss
  • vs. Schmidt (0-5): two strikeouts
  • never faced Rueter

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Bonds has been quietly raising his batting average, with some homeruns and a lot of walks. He has also been with his father, which has kept him from some games, but Bonds knows what's more important than the batting title, and that's his father. Alou (no, not Felipe) has been very consistent for the Cubs and has had a good history against Giant pitchers.

    Center Field:
    Marquis Grissom (.313)

  • .327 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (1-5): one RBI
  • vs. Wood (3-15): three strikeouts
  • never faced Zambrano

    Kenny Lofton (.271)

  • .211 against Giants pitchers
  • never faced Moss
  • vs. Schmidt (3-15): one 2B, four strikeouts
  • vs. Rueter (3-10): two 2Bs, one RBI

    Trenidad Hubbard (.250)

  • .333 against Giants pitchers
  • never faced Moss
  • never faced Schmidt
  • vs. Rueter (3-4): one 2B, one RBI

    PREDICTION: GIANTS
    Such as the game of baseball, a team faces a teammate who played a big role in getting them to the World Series last season. Lofton has not been that type of performer for the Pirates and looks to maybe change that as a Cub with his former manager. Grissom continues and continues to be consistent for the Giants, offensively and defensively. He just loves to play baseball.

    Right Field:
    Jose Cruz, Jr. (.253)

  • .450 against Cubs pitchers
  • vs. Clement (1-2): one strikeout
  • never faced Wood
  • never faced Zambrano

    Sammy Sosa (.301)

  • .312 against Giants pitchers
  • vs. Moss (1-3): one strikeout
  • vs. Schmidt (6-35): two 2Bs, one homerun, two RBIs, eight strikeouts
  • vs. Rueter (10-28): three 2Bs, one 3B, three homeruns, six RBIs, seven strikeouts

    PREDICTION: CUBS
    Cruz has been struggling in the batter's box, but continues to be lights out defensively. He has good numbers against the Cubs pitching, but that average is from facing very few Cubs pitchers. Sosa has began to light up with his bat again, whether or not it's corked is another story.

    BULLPEN: GIANTS
    Relievers: Giants
    Dave Veres has been a good arm coming out of the bullpen for the Cubs. The Giants bullpen continues to be consistent, being able to come into games for long relief or short relief.

    Closer: Giants
    Joe Borowski has an ERA of 2.85 with nineteen saves. Tim Worrell has an ERA of 1.89 with twenty-three saves. The numbers are close, but favor the Giants. Even if the close games get to the late innings, either closer will do the job for their respective teams.



    Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at kwanchino@alpha-q.net

    The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.

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