The Cubs took a 5-3 win in the first game of the series last night, though it was far from comfortable. Two runs came home in the second inning on the back of a Javier Baez inside-the-park home run to deep right field to give the Cubs the early lead.
That lead would be extended to 5-0 in the sixth, before a first homer for Ryder Jones off Jake Arrieta cut the lead to 5-2. Another run in the seventh chased Arrieta, but the Cubs bullpen was able to lock down the final 2.2 innings, allowing just one base runner to take home another win.
Game 2 Starters – Jose Quintana (LHP) vs Ty Blach (LHP)
Quintana’s last start was his worst as a Cub by far, as he gave up six runs and three homers against the Diamondbacks. However, his previous three starts for the Cubbies had been strong, and this Giants lineup is very much not the D-Backs.
Quintana is posting a 4.42 ERA for the year, with a 1.262 WHIP and 9.8 K/9, he could have a field day against the poor Giants lineup, but he does get into trouble with walks, and if he issues a few too many he could pay the price.
Ty Blach is doing well for his first full season in the Majors. With 18 starts under his belt and a 4.24 ERA, along with a 1.298 WHIP and a minuscule 0.7 HR/9, he has been a bright spot in a poor season for the Giants. The question is if he can maintain his run. He is far from a strikeout pitcher, posting a 4.5 K/9, and is relying on his defense to convert his 45.3% groundball rate into outs.
|Cubs Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Almora Jr, CF||4||.275||.327|
|Giants Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who’s hot, and who’s not
Willson Contreras has been a monster in the last two weeks, smashing six homers and picking up a .327 average. Supporting him in the last few weeks has been Javier Baez with four homers, though a disappointing .243 average, and Anthony Rizzo who has a hit .362 over the last 15 days and picked up a trio of homers.
The lack of power in the Giants lineup is palpable. The only healthy player with multiple homers in the last two weeks is Hunter Pence (3), and while Jarrett Parker is 8-for-17 in that time frame and Buster Posey is hitting .326, the lack of power has made scoring runs extremely tough for them.
Prediction: Cubs 5 – 2 Giants
Quintana shouldn’t have much of a problem keeping the Giants down tonight, and the Cubs bats are in with a chance of really going off tonight. The Giants aren’t going anywhere this year and the Cubs, at just 1.5 games ahead in the NL Central, need this win badly.
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