The Chicago Cubs return to Wrigley Field for a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers from June 12 through June 14, 2012. The probable pitchers in this series include Matt Garza, Travis Wood, Paul Maholm, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and either Rick Porcello or Doug Fister.
The Cubs completed a 10-game road series with an 8-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on June 10. With a 20-40 record, the Cubs have joined the San Diego Padres in a race for MLB's worst record. The Tigers haven't played much better as they have a 28-32 record. Their offense hopes to get a spark with Austin Jackson returning to the lineup.
All times are central time zone. The probable pitchers are updated as of June 11 on Cubs.mlb.com. The Cubs are represented by the pitchers in italics. Batter versus pitcher data is from ESPN.
June 12, 7:05 p.m.
Paul Maholm (4-5, 5.10 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (5-4, 5.88 ERA)
Current Tigers hitters are 19-for-89 (.213 batting average) with a .301 on-base percentage (OBP) against Paul Maholm. Prince Fielder is 6-for-48 (.125 batting average) with 15 strikeouts and no home runs. Miguel Cabrera is 3-for-10 (.300 batting average) with a walk, double and RBI. Jhonny Peralta is 4-for-7 (.571 batting average) with two doubles and a home run.
June 13, 7:05 p.m.
Matt Garza (2-4, 3.99 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (3-4, 5.03 ERA) or Doug Fister (0-3, 3.15 ERA)
Current Tigers hitters are 29-for-109 (.266 batting average) with a .331 OBP against Matt Garza. Fielder is 3-for-9 (.333 batting average) with four RBIs and three doubles. Peralta is 9-for-22 (.409 batting average) with one double and one RBI. Cabrera has also homered.
June 14, 1:20 p.m.
Fielder is the only Tigers hitter who has faced Travis Wood. Fielder is 4-for-10 (.400 batting average) with two walks against him.
Don't be surprised if the pitching matchups change throughout the week. Fister is eligible to return from the disabled list on June 13. However, he probably won't be ready to pitch. Furthermore, the Tigers might be wise to save Verlander for their next series.
The Cubs aren't scheduled to face any left-handed pitchers in this series. That means Bryan LaHair should be the starting first baseman in each game. The designated hitter won't be in effect because this game is at a National League park.
My biggest concern with this series is whether the bullpen can contain hitters such as Austin Jackson, Cabrera, Fielder and Peralta. The Cubs can play competitive games with this team. I'm not confident in their ability to win close games against them.
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid-90s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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