Cubs call on Arrieta to face Giants, Bumgarner in Game 3 of NLDS
By Justin Wise
The Giants host the Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Monday (9:30 p.m. ET, FS1), with the 2014 World Series Most Valuable Player and the '15 National League Cy Young Award winner taking the mound for their respective clubs.
San Francisco will turn to left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who hasn't given up an earned run in his past 23 postseason innings. Jake Arrieta will take the ball for Chicago.
Arrieta: 18-8, 3.10 ERA, 197 1/3 IP, 190 K
Bumgarner: 15-9, 2.74 ERA, 226 2/3 IP, 251 K
Arrieta against the Giants
Career: 4-2 (6 GS), 1.82 ERA
2016: 1-1 (2 GS) 2.08 ERA
Loves to face: Brandon Belt, 0-for-10, 7 K
Hates to face: Angel Pagan, 5-for-11, 1 2B
Why he'll win: Arrieta has been the model of efficiency in his three seasons with Chicago. And though 2016 hasn't gone as smoothly for the burly right-hander, Arrieta has still showcased the ability to dominate. He did that in his last appearance at AT&T Park, surrendering just one run and striking out eight in seven innings.
Pitcher beware: Unlike 2015, teams have occasionally broken out offensively against Arrieta. He surrendered four or more runs in nine of his 31 starts, and he recorded a 4.60 ERA in September.
Bottom line: Arrieta took a small step backward one season after posting a 1.77 ERA, but he remains plenty reliable. He ranked first in the Majors in hits per nine innings (6.29) and exited eight games after not allowing a single run.
Bumgarner against the Cubs
Career: 8-2 (12 GS) 2.25 ERA
2016: 2-0 (2 GS) 1.32 ERA
Loves to face: Anthony Rizzo, 3-for-16, 7 K
Hates to face: Ben Zobrist, 6-for-12, 1 RBI
Why he'll win: Bumgarner continued to build a case for why he may be the best postseason pitcher of all time in the NL Wild Card Game, pitching a shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Mets. The left-hander has a 0.88 ERA in his past eight appearances in the postseason. Bumgarner's production against the Cubs may indicate another performance like that could be on deck. He has allowed just two earned runs in 13 2/3 innings against the club this season.
Pitcher beware: Bumgarner allowed a career-high 26 home runs in 2016. He yielded two or more homers in seven different games. It will be something to pay attention to when he faces Chicago, a club that ranked fifth in the NL with 199 jacks.
Bottom line: Arrieta told reporters Friday that Bumgarner is beatable. And he is, as the Giants went 7-8 in the left-hander's 15 outings after the All-Star break. But beating him at this juncture of the year has proven to be a near-impossible task. Opponents are batting just .150 against Bumgarner in his past eight postseason outings.
Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.