The suddenly staggering Chicago Cubs will try to get back on a winning track when they face the red-hot San Francisco Giants in a nationally televised Major League Baseball game that will stream live online Sunday night. But to avoid a seventh loss in their last 11 games, the Cubs will need to overcome a formidable obstacle — one by the name of Madison Bumgarner.
The 26-year-old Bumgarner — in his eighth season with the Giants after they drafted him in the first round, 10th overall, in 2007 out of South Caldwell High School in North Carolina — is not only one of baseball's best and toughest pitchers, he is also one of the hottest coming into the Sunday night matchup at AT&T Park.
No more "Wait till next year."The Giants have won five straight games started by Bumgarner, and over his last six starts the lefty has posted a minuscule 1.69 ERA. The Giants ace has fanned 71 in 58 2/3 innings this season, fifth-most in the National League, including 11 in his most recent start, May 17 against the San Diego Padres.
Cubs take on the Giants in a battle of 1st place teams on Sunday Night Baseball.https://t.co/o8bNGymKfE
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) May 22, 2016
The NL West-leading Giants have won nine of their last 10 — the only loss in that stretch coming against these same Cubs on Friday night in the opener of the three-game set that concludes with Sunday Night Baseball.
The Giants bounced back to win on Saturday, beating the Cubs 5-3 as they knocked out Cubs starter Jon Lester in the third inning.
Watch highlights of Saturday's San Francisco win over Chicago in the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the third and deciding game of the Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants series, see the streaming links in the final paragraph of this article. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California — 8:05 p.m. Eastern Time — on Sunday, May 22.
The Cubs send their Number Five starter, 26-year-old Kyle Hendricks, to the mound, in an attempt to counter Bumgarner. The righty out of Ivy League Dartmouth College, however, has struggled on the road so far in 2016. Hendricks' ERA away from Wrigley field stands at a bloated 5.19, compared to a far more respectable 2.28 back home in the Friendly Confines.
As unbeatable as Bumgarner has proven to be over the past five weeks, the six-foot-five, 250-pounder feels he still has room for improvement.
"I feel like there's about 10 different things that's different than the way I want it," Bumgarner told Fox Sports on Saturday. "Obviously, it's working well the way it is. I mean, the body feels good and my command's good, so ultimately that's all that matters."
Buster Olney previews the Sunday Night Baseball matchup between the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants. https://t.co/ZAtY9tlxwZChicago started the season seemingly on pace for a historic season, winning 25 games of their first 31, a phenomenal winning percentage of.806. Though the Cubs have looked far more human over the past 10 games, the team is certainly not disappointed— and Chicago still boasts the best record in Major League Baseball at 29-12.
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) May 22, 2016
"If anyone thought we were going to win 140 games, I want to know what they're taking," star first-baseman Anthony Rizzo told ESPN after Saturday's loss to the Giants. "You can't ride the highs too high. I don't think any of us did, and none of us are going to ride the lows too low."
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To watch a live stream of the Sunday night Major League Baseball Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants nationally televised game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California, go to WatchESPN at this link, or download the WatchESPN app to watch the game on mobile devices. Fans who do not have credentials to log in and watch WatchESPN can view the game via the Sling TV internet TV package at this link. The package, which includes a variety of channels, including ESPN, costs $20 per month. But Sling TV offers a seven-day free trial, so subscribers can choose whether or not to keep the service after watching the Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants game live online. A Spanish-language broadcast is also available via the WatchESPN link, above.
[Featured Photo By Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images] [Statistics via Baseball-Reference.com]