Schmidt missed his last start on Thursday with mild tedinitis in his right forearm and elbow. However, in his last outing on July 19, he gave up two earned runs and five hits in five innings of a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies—his second straight victory and fifth in six decisions.
Schmidt, who came to San Francisco from Pittsburgh in the middle of the 2001 season, has blossomed into the ace of the Giants’ staff this season. He ranks second in the National League with a 2.41 ERA and, with Arizona pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Shilling in the midst of sub-par seasons due to injuries, he has become one of the top starters in the NL West.
“Now he’s the bar,” Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said. “What happens when you get good is you become the measuring stick for other people.”
Wood has also been strong this season, but he comes in off a horrible outing. On Thursday, he gave up a career-high-tying eight earned runs and seven hits in a 14-6 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I didn’t get the job done—that’s the bottom line,” Wood said. “My slider wasn’t working. When the team scores six runs, we should win that ballgame.”
However, Wood, who has won five of his last seven decisions, did strike out nine batters, increasing his major league-leading total to 173.
On Tuesday, the Cubs beat the Giants 3-0 in the series opener—their second straight win and third in seven games. Moises Alou hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Matt Clement pitched a two-hitter for Chicago.
STANDINGS: Giants - 1st place, NL West. Cubs - 3rd place, 3 1/2 GB, NL Central.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Schmidt (10-4, 2.41 ERA). In 14 career starts against Chicago, Schmidt is 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA—his lowest mark against any NL team. On April 30, Schmidt pitched a three-hitter in a 5-0 win over the Cubs.
CUBS PROBABLE STARTER: Wood (10-7, 3.38 ERA). Wood is 4-1 with a 4.70 ERA in eight career starts against the Giants.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Giants - Barry Bonds, .327 avg., 33 HRs, 68 RBIs and 78 runs; Grissom, 9 SBs. Cubs - Mark Grudzielanek, .306 avg.; Sammy Sosa, 22 HRs; Moises Alou, 68 RBIs; Kenny Lofton and Sosa, 60 runs; Lofton, 20 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Cubs, 3-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Giants - 1B J.T. Snow has missed three straight games since aggravating a left groin injury that put him on the disabled list from June 21 to July 2. However, manager Felipe Alou said that he doesn’t think Snow will be placed on the DL. … On Tuesday, the Giants placed third-string C Alberto Castillo on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Monday, with a contusion on his right wrist. C Benito Santiago (dislocated left pinkie finger) was activated from the DL. … RF Bonds is just 5-for-18 (.278) with a double and a triple but no homers all-time against RHP Wood. Cubs - OF Kenny Lofton has gone 5-for-26 (.192) since joining the Cubs on July 22. 3B Aramis Ramirez, who joined Chicago on the same day, is just 5-for-22 (.227) as a Cub. … RHP Mark Prior, on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised shoulder, threw off a mound for about 25 minutes on Tuesday. The Cubs will decide when to start him again after he throws a simulated game on Thursday. … OF Tom Goodwin, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, was scheduled to do strength tests on his hamstring Tuesday.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Giants - 30-23 on the road; Cubs - 25-27 at home.
INJURIES: Giants - C Castillo (wrist), 15-day DL; OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Kurt Ainsworth (shoulder blade), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Chad Zerbe (oblique), 15-day DL; 1B Snow (groin), day-to-day. Cubs - OF Goodwin (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Prior (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Scott Chiasson (elbow), 60-day DL; LHP Will Ohman (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Corey Patterson (knee), 60-day DL.