Probable Pitchers

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Friday at1:20pm CT – Madison Bumgarner vs. Chris Volstad

Usually dominant at home and not one to give free passes, Bumgarner walked four as he allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings in the Giants’ 7-3 loss to the Braves in his last start. He is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts at the Friendly Confines. Volstad doesn’t have to worry about the streak any more. He ended a 24-start winless streak in his last game, picking up the win over the Rockies as he threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He has a 3.82 ERA in five starts in August.

Saturday at 12:05pm CT – Tim Lincecum vs. Justin Germano

Lincecum searched for his rhythm in his last outing, allowing three runs in five innings against the Braves. He allowed two runs in a 32-pitch first inning, and he has now allowed 25 first-inning runs in 27 starts this season. Germano will be glad to be finished with the Brewers. He lost to them in back-to-back starts, giving up 12 runs over 9 2/3 innings combined. He’s had trouble getting through the batting order the second and third time as teams are figuring him out.

Sunday at 1:20pm CT – Matt Cain vs. Travis Wood

After winning just once in eight starts between June 24 and Aug. 6, Cain has gone 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his last four outings. He threw 118 pitches in his last start, his most in any start since he logged 125 in his June 13 perfect game. Wood posted his 11th quality start on Tuesday, yet also suffered his eighth straight loss. He is 0-8 with a 6.66 ERA in his last nine starts but has given up three runs or less in five of his last six outings.

Our Take

Despite the dramatic win yesterday, I don’t have high expectations for the Cubs this weekend. If you open your encyclopedia to the entry do a Google search for “out-classed,” you’ll get these pitching matchups. Short of a stomach virus sweeping through the Giants’ clubhouse, I’m not sure how the Cubs can really compete this weekend.

It’s not that the Giants’ pitchers don’t make mistakes—they do. But is this a Cubs team you really trust to capitalize on those mistakes? We just made Milwaukee’s staff look like world-beaters–what happens when we face off against two perennial Cy Young candidates?

We could have another 12-run explosion in reserve, but it would be a surprise. Far more likely that these will be low-scoring events, with frustration and missed opportunities aplenty. I’ll still watch, but I don’t have high hopes at all.

Series Prediction: Maybe one win. Maybe.

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