Cubs look to continue momentum vs. Sox

Cubs look to continue momentum vs. Sox
May 29, 2013, 8:30 am
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Tony Andracki

Gametime: 1:20 p.m. (Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live: Crosstown Cup at 12:30 p.m. Cubs Postgame Live follows the game on CSN.)
 
On the mound: Scott Feldman (4-4, 2.80 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) vs. John Danks (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 0.67 WHIP)
 
Feldman continues to make a strong case to be one of the top starting pitchers that figure to be available at the trading deadline. He got hit pretty hard his last time out -- 5 ER in 5 1/3 IP in Cincinnati -- but preceded that with a stretch of seven straight starts in which he did not surrender more than two earned runs.

The 30-year-old veteran has also surprised with the bat. After spending his entire career to date in the American League, Feldman already has six RBI and three extra-base hits in his first 22 at-bats in the NL. He's had a two-run hit in each of his last two starts, including his first career home run in Cincy.

Danks will be making his second start this season after missing almost a year due to a shoulder injury.

Today's storyline: Have the Cubs turned it around against LHPs?
 
One of the storylines of the series was how the Cubs would handle three straight southpaws the Sox would send out, with season-long struggles against left-handed starters. But so far, so good for Dale Sveum's squad.

If you count the three innings of Tuesday's rain-out, the Cubs had plated nine runs in the first 10 innings of the series and had touched up both lefty starters in Jose Quintana and Chris Sale.

Scott Hairston entered the series hitting below .110 against lefties, but delivered with a key sacrifice fly in Game 1 and doubled off Sale before the rains hit Tuesday. It could be the start of a turnaround for the veteran outfielder.

[MORE: After getting to Sale, Cubs still waiting for luck to turn]
 
What else to watch for
 
The two teams are not-so-secretly hoping for a quick game so they can go off and enjoy Blackhawks-Red Wings Game 7 at the United Center. Several guys from both dugouts -- including Dale Sveum and Paul Konerko -- have expressed a desire for a fast game Wednesday and are rooting against a rain delay or extra innings.

[RELATED: Konerko hopes to attend Hawks' Game 7]

The last word

The Cubs' leadoff man against lefties has been Julio Borbon lately, and it has worked out well. He collected two hits -- including a two-run homer -- in the Crosstown opener Monday and laced a single to left off Sale before the rain hit.

But Sveum has already committed to David DeJesus atop the Cubs' lineup Wednesday against Danks, so it will bear watching how DeJesus (.360 OPS against LHPs in 2013, .666 OPS for his career) fares.