A dream come true for Major League A-Holes happened Wednesday night when the Giants outlasted the Mets thanks to Mr. October, Madison Bumgarner, pitching his second Wild Card complete game shutout in as many opportunities, and a timely 3-run bomb from Connor Gillaspie in the ninth to seal it. That dream was a playoff battle between the Giants and the Cubs.
This was nothing new for the Giants nor is facing a team like the Cubs later tonight, its more like the usual for the Giants who have won four straight games that included facing Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and Noah Syndergaard.
The game one match-up of Cueto vs. Lester looks like another low scoring edge of the seat affair, especially since five of the seven regular season match-ups were decided by one run. There’s no reason to think differently except for one glaring statistics that sport’s pundits uncovered; Lester’s record with home plate umpire, Todd Tichenor. In case you haven’t figured it, it’s not good.
Lester is 1-3 with a 5.62ERA when Tichenor is behind the plate, which seems like a stat that would make managerial wizard, Joe Maddon, think twice about starting Lester. It has not, and I thank him for it.
Besides that a few other stats play into the Giants favor for game one. The current Cubs are hitting a paltry .184 against Cueto over their careers while striking out 37 times in 141 ABs. On the flipside, this season Lester has a 4.63 ERA vs. the Giants that includes a home and road start.
Of course, does any stat really matter at the end of the day, no not really. The Cubs winning the most games in the regular season means nothing, it being an even number year means nothing, and Lester and Cueto’s ERA against their respective opponents in the regular season means nothing.
Knowing all that, I still can’t help but feel in game one that the Giants have the advantage and will take the first game of the series. That being said, I think the advantage swings back to the Cubs for game two because of how poorly Jeff Samardzija has pitched on the road this season, and how great Kyle Hendricks has been.
Again, none of that really matters, but I see the series deadlocked at 1-1 leaving Chicago on Saturday. One things for sure that this series should be just as fun and frustrating as the regular season series was for both fans.