The Chicago Cubs finally broke through and won a game started by an opposing left-handed pitcher this week when they beat the Cincinnati Reds on the night that Tony Cingrani pitched, though Cingrani didn't earn the loss or pitch poorly. On Friday, they'll try to make it two in a row against southpaw starters when Wade LeBlanc pitches for the Miami Marlins against Scott Feldman.
Despite that win on Tuesday, the Cubs are still struggling against lefties. They scored two runs in the first inning against Cingrani and then were shut-out until the 10th when he was long gone. For the season the Cubs are hitting .210 against lefties with a .267 on-base percentage. Both are near the bottom of the National League.
Making their sixth start this season against a lefty are Dave Sappelt and Scott Hairston. Both continue to struggle as Hairston is hitting .059 against lefties while Sappelt is a little better at .182. That's Sappelt's on-base percentage as well indicating he hasn't taken a walk from a left-hander either. Not a good statistic considering he's led-\ off the previous five games against left-handed starters. He'll do it again on Friday against LeBlanc. Meanwhile Alfonso Soriano is 11-23 (.478) against lefties this season, by far the best among Cubs.
Here's the line-up:
Starlin Castro, SS
Anthony Rizzo, 1b
Scott Hairston, RF
Cody Ransom, 3b
Darwin Barney, 2b
Scott Feldman, P
Feldman is winless with his new team making it through five innings just once in three starts. He has yet to leave the game with a lead, giving up runs in the fifth inning in each appearance. However, seven of his 14 runs given up are un-earned, that's the most in the league.
For the first time since 1908 every game (21) to start the season has been decided by four runs or less. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, a similar result on Friday would tie for the fourth longest streak ever, matched by the 1958 Reds. The longest stretch of games to be decided by four runs or less to start a season is 33 by the Detroit Tigers in 1914.
Feldman is 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA while LeBlanc is also 0-3 with a 6.27 ERA.