Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Preview for April 4th Game

Preview for April 4th’s Game
Chicago Cubs (1-1) at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-1)

The Chicago Cubs will be finishing their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, April 4th. The game will be starting at 12:35pm eastern time at the beautiful PNC Park.  The game will be an early start on Thursday because the Cubbies will need to leave Pittsburgh early tomorrow to travel to Atlanta to face the Braves in a three game series. The projected starting pitcher for the Cubs tomorrow will be the left-handed pitcher Travis Wood. Wood had a very solid season for the Cubbies last year because he put together some great pitching gems, but when Wood struggled he struggled mightily. Therefore, Wood needs to take that next step as a pitcher and prevent those bad outings from happening in order to compete competitively. Wood has some good stuff; his pitches are especially effective against hitters if he keeps his them down. Wood’s pitches include a low-90s fastball, an effective cutter that he uses against right-handed batters, a solid slider and a curveball that has the traditional break to it.

The probable pitcher for the opposing team will be the young, talented James McDonald. McDonald had his best season in the majors last year and there is no reason to expect him to regress this year. James McDonald has a great pitching repertoire; the pitches are a four seam fastball that is in the low mid-90s, a two seam fastball in the low-90s, a nasty slider that hitters tend to whiff on, a curve in the high-70s and a changeup that he uses effectively. When McDonald is on, he is on and can be slightly unhittable, but sometimes he can struggle with his command.

The hitters of the Cubs will be facing a tough foe in tomorrow’s game and need to bring their A game if they want a win. I believe we should see Dioner Navarro get his first start as a Cubbie because Castillo will have such short rest due to the late game on Wednesday. Nate Schierholtz will probably get the start at right field, Valbuena should start at third base and I think Alberto Gonzalez will start at second in tomorrow’s game because of the struggles Lillibridge has been having lately at the plate. The Cubs franchise players, Castro and Rizzo, both need to put in good performances in tomorrow’s game to give them confidence for their next series against the Atlanta Braves.

prediction for the game tomorrow is that the Cubs bats will struggle again and that will cause them to lose with a score of 4 to 1. This means that the Cubs will lose their opening series against the Pirates. My prediction on the player of the game will be James McDonald, who will just shut down the Cubbies and cruise to a victory. I predict that Wood will put in a solid performance, but will have a difficult time against Andrew McCutchen, who has had a good series, but a quiet one at that. I truly hope I predict this one wrong because I will be rooting for a Cubbies win and great performances by the hitters.

I will be posting a blog tomorrow detailing the minor league signing of veteran outfielder Ryan Sweeny tomorrow and how it can affect the Cubs.

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