National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, September 1st
(All times Eastern)
San Francisco Giants (74-58) at Chicago Cubs (51-80), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Tim Lincecum (7-14, 5.30)
Chicago - Justin Germano (2-4, 5.91)
(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants would probably feel more confident
in a potential playoff run if Tim Lincecum could find some consistency.
The former Cy Young Award winner looks to avoid a fourth loss in five starts
on Saturday afternoon in the middle contest of a three-game series versus the
It is safe to say it is a bit surprising that the Giants lead the NL West
given that Lincecum is a mere 7-14 in 27 starts on the year with a 5.30 earned
run average. That includes a 4-6 mark and 6.99 ERA in 13 road outings.
The righty is making small steps, having allowed more than three earned runs
in just two of his last nine outings. That wasn't enough to beat the Atlanta
Braves on Sunday as he suffered a 7-1 defeat after yielding three runs on five
hits and two walks over five frames.
"My rhythm was just off in the first inning. I kind of got it back the next
four innings but that was it. I was just getting behind batters 2-0 on pretty
much everybody." Lincecum said.
Lincecum will try to even this series against the Cubs and even his career
mark against the franchise, currently holding a record of 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA
against it in nine starts.
Coming off a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros, the Giants dropped
Friday's opener by a 6-4 margin. Chicago's Alfonso Soriano drove in three runs
to support starter Chris Volstad to his second straight win.
Volstad snapped a 24-start winless drought last Sunday and won again with 5
2/3 innings of two-run ball in the opener.
"Since he's been back, he's done a pretty good job," Cubs manager Dale Sveum
said about Volstad. "There haven't been no big blowups. He's been pitching
fairly deep into the games and shutting guys down pretty good."
Chicago won two straight for the first time since a three-game winning streak
from July 28-30 and avoided a sixth straight setback to San Francisco. That
losing streak included a four-game sweep by the Giants at home from June 1-4.
Buster Posey had three hits and drove in two runs, but starter Madison
Bumgarner lasted only four frames and yielded five runs, all but one unearned.
"(Bumgarner) was a little bit off today," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy,
whose club remained 4 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the
Bochy will bank on his offense not being off against Cubs starter Justin
Germano, who takes the hill today following consecutive losses to the
Milwaukee Brewers. The righty yielded 12 runs and 18 hits over 9 2/3 frames
over that time.
Germano, 30, is 2-4 with a 5.91 ERA in seven games (6 starts) since joining
the Cubs and holds a solid 1.83 ERA in four career meetings with the Giants --
all but one of those starts -- without a decision.
09/01 10:31:14 ET