Chicago Cubs send Haren to square off against Bumgarner in series finale
By David Miniel
Last night, right-hander Kyle Hendricks was unable to keep the ball rolling for the Chicago Cubs as he was outmatched by Jake Peavy and the San Francisco Giants.
It was a game the Cubs (73-52) would have liked to have in the win column, but they’ll have to face one of their toughest match-ups of the season in Madison Bumgarner.
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Taking the mound opposite San Francisco’s (67-59) dangerous right-hander will be Dan Haren. Haren (8-8, 3.76 ERA) hasn’t necessarily lived up to Chicago’s expectations since he was acquired on the day of the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of July.
Since joining the North Siders, the 34-year-old veteran has gone 1-1 with a 6.05 earned run average while allowing 13 earned runs on 25 hits, seven home runs, 16/3 K/BB ratio and a 1.45 WHIP across 19 1/3 innings of work in August.
Thankfully, this Giants team hasn’t been hitting for power since the All-Star break. They received their only big fly of the series (so far) during the top of the first inning when Nori Aoki launched a lead-off homer off Hendricks to begin the early rally.
Bumgarner (15-6, 3.02 ERA), on the other hand, has been excellent for the Giants. Not only has he been great in the month of August, holding opposing teams to a combined four earned runs on 21 hits with a massive 41/2 K/BB ratio – he’s also swinging the bat like he’s a thinner version of former Cub, Carlos Zambrano.
Last year, Bumgarner finished the season with four homers and 15 RBI while slashing .258/.286/.470 – this season, the 26-year-old has five big flies, nine RBI and a batting line of .254/.279/.525 with an OPS of .804.
Now back to the Cubs. Veteran catcher David Ross, who has left the team due to a family emergency, was replaced by outfielder Matt Szczur who will pick up the start in center field for Dexter Fowler.
Kyle Schwarber will be behind the dishes tonight while Chris Denorfia gets the start in left to help balance things out. They’ll have another tough task in facing Clayton Kershaw tomorrow evening when they visit the Dodgers for a weekend series.
First pitch is slated for 2:45 p.m. central time and will air live on CSN, WBBM 780.
Here’s a look at today’s starting lineup’s: