NEW YORK -- The National League Division Series pitting the Giants against the Chicago Cubs will be heavy on aesthetics and should be long on competition.The aesthetics are obvious. The best-of-five series begins Friday at Chicago's Wrigley Field (9 p.m. ET/6 PT on FS1), the league's enduring grande dame of
NEW YORK -- The National League Division Series pitting the Giants against the Chicago Cubs will be heavy on aesthetics and should be long on competition.
The aesthetics are obvious. The best-of-five series begins Friday at Chicago's Wrigley Field (9 p.m. ET/6 PT on FS1), the league's enduring grande dame of ballparks.
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"I'm excited to play some playoff baseball at Wrigley," Giants right fielder Hunter Pence said. "That's a pretty special ballpark."
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The Giants earned the chance to play with Cubs by stunning the Mets, 3-0, in Wednesday night's NL Wild Card Game at Citi Field.
"It'll be a fun time in Chicago -- that's what it's been all year," Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward said. "We don't take it for granted. It'll be a good time and we'll have some fun with it. This is what you play for, you want to be on this stage. Don't ever forget it or take it for granted, just have fun."
After the opening two games at Wrigley, the scene shifts Monday to San Francisco's AT&T Park, widely popular among casual and intense fans alike.
As for the series itself, it'll be hotly contested, if the regular season is any indication. That's despite the win-loss disparity between the Cubs (103-58), who compiled the Major Leagues' best record, and the Giants (87-75), who qualified for the postseason as the NL's second Wild Card team.
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Chicago won the season series, 4-3. That included three Cubs victories in a four-game set at Wrigley Field during Labor Day weekend. Yet, three of those games were one-run decisions. That left the defiant Giants feeling no doubt that they can perform on even terms with the NL Central champions.
"We're confident," Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "Those two series were back-and-forth, good games."
The Giants know that they must generate much more offense than they previously did against the Cubs. San Francisco hit .147 (33-for-224) against Chicago, scoring 17 runs in seven games. The Cubs didn't do much better against the Giants, batting .225 with 23 runs.
"It's going to be a very well-pitched series," said Giants reliever George Kontos, a rabid Cubs fan while growing up near Chicago. "I expect a lot of excitement."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.