Cubs-Red Sox Preview
The last time the Chicago Cubs played at Fenway Park, Woodrow
Wilson was president and slugger Babe Ruth was a 13-game winner for
the Boston Red Sox.
Almost a century later, the Cubs return to Fenway looking to
prevent Jon Lester and the Red Sox from extending their season-high
winning streak to seven Friday night.
Though the Cubs took two of three from the Red Sox at Wrigley
Field in 2005, Chicago makes its first visit to Fenway Park since
losing the 1918 World Series in six games.
“It’s kind of hard to believe it’s been since 1918, with all the
interleague stuff,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “Everybody I know
on the face of the earth is going to be there. It will be a fun
weekend for all of us.”
The Cubs lost two of three at Boston in the series, which until
2004 was the last time the Red Sox won a world championship.
Chicago has not won a title since 1908.
“We’re not going to put all of that on us. We’re just going to
do the best we can to win a game,” said Cubs first baseman Carlos
Pena, who went to high school outside Boston and attended
Northeastern University. “It’s a historic event. We’re going to
The Red Sox (23-20) expect plenty of Cubs fans to be in
attendance for the weekend series.
“They are all over the country,” Boston pitcher and former Cub
Rich Hill told the Red Sox’s official website. “It’s probably the
most beloved National League team. The Red Sox are the most beloved
American League team.”
While history is one motivating factor for the Cubs, they also
will have momentum on their side after sweeping a two-game set at
Florida. Chicago (19-23) likely will need to be at its best against
a Boston team that has won nine of 11 overall and is tied for third
all-time with a 140 interleague victories.
Chicago is 41-60 in interleague road games.
“Both historical organizations, just one’s going in a different
direction,” Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron said.
Chicago will be put to the test against Lester (5-1, 3.28 ERA),
who is 7-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 13 interleague starts.
The left-hander is 5-0 with a 3.05 ERA in his last six overall
outings, and he has a 1.38 ERA while striking out 16 in 13 innings
to win his last two at home.
Lester, however, has issued nine walks and posted a 7.15 ERA in
consecutive starts overall – both on the road. He gave up four runs
and walked four in six innings of a 7-5 win at Yankee Stadium on
Pena is batting .294 with five homers and a double versus
Lester, while Marlon Byrd is 1 for 9 against him. Byrd, however,
has homered in consecutive games and hit .347 in his last 24.
Doug Davis (0-1, 1.80) makes his second start for the Cubs after
he allowed three runs – one earned – and four hits in five innings
of a 3-0 loss to San Francisco on Saturday in his Chicago debut.
The left-hander is 3-2 with a 3.92 ERA in six starts against the
Red Sox, and he has not faced them since pitching for Arizona in
David Ortiz is 2 for 5 with a double against Davis and went 3
for 4 with a homer in a 4-3 win over Detroit on Thursday.
Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has hit .283 with 11 homers
and 24 RBIs in 38 games against the Chicago, but he’s 7 for 34
(.206) when facing Davis.
The Red Sox, who have also won six straight at home, haven’t won
seven in a row overall since Sept. 8-16, 2009.