As the Chicago Cubs try to find a way to get to Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the San Francisco Giants during Game 3 of their best of five division series, they might turn to Jake Arrieta their starting pitcher.
The Cubs won Game 2 of the series 5-2 to give them a 2-0 lead and can end the series with a win on Monday at AT&T Park in northern California. In Game 2, the Cubs received three RBIs from their starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood a reliever.
On Monday, Arrieta will start and is the best-hitting pitcher for Chicago. The reigning Cy Young Award winner of the National League had the best offensive season of his career with a batting average of .262. He hit 2 home runs and knocked in 7 runs during the season.
He also expressed an interest along with Bumgarner and others in participating in the All-Star break Home Run Derby. Bumgarner initiated that interest by saying he wanted to take part.
The at bats each pitcher will have against his counterpart could become a big subplot of this game as San Francisco looks to stave off the first elimination game after scoring just 2 runs over the 2 losses suffered in the Windy City.
In their respective careers, the two pitchers have only hit against one another one time each, with Arrieta knocking in a run with a hit and Bumgarner walking.
Arrieta said he would approach Bumgarner like any of the other eight hitters in the Giants lineup. Bumgarner’s 12 home runs over the past 3 seasons lead the Majors for pitchers.
The Giants learned the hard way about the power of the Chicago pitchers at the plate in Game 2. Wood has hit 9 career home runs during the regular season. He replaced Hendricks during the fourth inning.
In the bottom of that same inning, Wood took a George Kontos pitch deep into the stands to give Chicago the 5-2 lead.
Some players on the Giants felt that the home run by Woods helped to stop their momentum after they had rallied for two runs turning the top of the inning.
Bumgarner, who pinch hitter during Game 2, said he was aware of the hitting ability of Arrieta.
He said no pitcher wants to allow a hit to an opposing pitcher. He added that you can go after certain pitchers more than others but Arrieta is not one of them.