The red-hot Cubs stumbled against two playoff teams, the Nationals and Diamondbacks, losing four of their last six at Wrigley Field. Now they head out west for three each against the Giants and those same Diamondbacks.
Their first stop is in San Francisco against the reeling Giants. One year after giving Chicago all they could handle in the National League Division Series, the G-Men have had a disastrous season. A 44-69 record leaves them a staggering 36 –not a typo — games behind the first-place Dodgers.
The lone offensive bright spot for San Fran has been catcher Buster Posey, who is hitting .324 with a .414 on-base percentage in 2017. The organization also reunited with Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval, who was released by the Red Sox after flopping on his five-year deal.
Madison Bumgarner is finally back on the mound after missing three months with a shoulder injury. Remove MadBum’s nine starts and the rest of the Giants rotation has a ghastly 4.95 ERA.
The Cubs lost two winnable games in the last homestand thanks to bullpen issues. Playing a few against an undermanned team like San Francisco will be vital to getting back on a winning track, so hopefully they can take advantage.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, August 7 at 9:08 CT on ESPN and WGN.
- Tuesday, August 8 at 9:15 CT on MLB Network (out of market) and CSN-C
- Wednesday, August 9 at 2:45 CT on MLB Network (out of market) and CSN-C
What To Watch For
- With the Giants starting three left-handed pitchers, expect to see a lot of Albert Almora Jr. The slick centerfielder has mashed lefties to the tune of a .343 batting average and .961 OPS, All-Star numbers.
- Speaking of stars, Willson Contreras is unstoppable at the moment. He has five home runs in the last four games and has become a rock in the middle of the Cubs order.
- The days of Barry Bonds are long gone in the Bay Area. The Giants have only 89 homers in 2017, good for dead last in the majors (Pirates, 106). Brandon Belt leads the team with 18 dingers and the only other player with a double-digit total is Buster Posey (11).
- The Cubs still have the fifth-best reliever ERA in baseball, but the results have not been good lately. Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop have been impressive recently, so they may pick up the slack for the scuffling Carl Edwards Jr.