Fresh off a sweep against the Colorado Rockies, the San Francisco Giants will look to continue their success against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday afternoon.
The Rockies pitching staff isn’t a premier crop of pitchers, but the Giants’ bats came alive during their three-game sweep. Over the three-game set, they scored an average of 7.7 runs per game, hit .328 with runners in scoring position and even better, Marco Scutaro and Buster Posey broke out of their slumps.
Scott Feldman gets the task to slow down San Francisco’s bats. In four career games (two starts) against the Giants, he’s 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA. Hunter Pence is 4-for-8 with three doubles in his career against Feldman, and Scutaro is 4-for-10.
Feldman struggled in his first start of the year against the Atlanta Braves. He surrendered four earned runs in 4.2 innings, issued four walks and allowed five hits.
Something to watch is Feldman’s fly ball rate, as of the 25 batters he faced on April 5, 11 of them hit a fly ball, in Atlanta. On Thursday in Chicago, the wind will be blowing out to left field at about 10 miles per hour, according to Daily Baseball Data.
The Cubs, meanwhile, will oppose Ryan Vogelsong, who struggled in his season debut on Saturday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals. He allowed five earned runs in 5.1 innings on nine hits, two walks and six strikeouts. Worth noting is that all nine hits were singles, so it’s not like the Cardinals killed him. The fifth inning did him in.
In 15 career games (nine starts) against the Cubs, Vogelsong hasn’t found much success. He sports a 4-5 record along with a 5.96 ERA, albeit last year, he pitched seven innings and allowed just two runs to pick up the win.
Alfonso Soriano is 5-for-12 with one homer against Vogelsong in his career, and Scott Hairston has two hits in just three at-bats.
Vogelsong also tends to rely on inducing fly balls to get outs. He had a 38 percent fly ball percentage in 2012, which ranked as the 21st highest in baseball. So, it’s just something to watch for if the wind becomes a factor.
- The Giants have won seven of their past eight games against the Cubs
- The Giants are playing the Cubs at Wrigley Field at the earliest date in history. April 13 was the previous record.
- Rain is in the forecast, but there’s a relatively good chance that they get the game in.