Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants Preview, Thursday 6/30, 1:20 CT: A Look Ahead

Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs is congratulated by teammates including Starlin Castro after getting the game-winning hit as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 9th inning against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field on June 29, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Giants 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Before the preview of today's game, I want to talk a little bit about Sunday's game against the White Sox.

The release of Doug Davis yesterday means that Rodrigo Lopez may be in line to start Sunday's game.

To which I ask the question, "Why?" Lopez has been bad in his two starts and many of his relief appearances, and is nearly 36. He is not part of the future of this team. We don't need to find out if he can be any good for 2012 and beyond, because he will be gone.

According to Phil Rogers (however, consider the source) in the Tribune, Ramon Ortiz is being considered for a recall to start Sunday:

Manager Mike Quade hinted that Rodrigo Lopez is the leading candidate for that start, and Hendry said 38-year-old Ramon Ortiz is also under consideration for a promotion from Iowa.

To which I again ask the question, "Why?" Ortiz is not part of this team's future either. His last decent major league season was 2002. The same article says, regarding Casey Coleman:

Hendry said Coleman appeared to turn a corner, looking "like he did last year" when he was 4-2 with a 3.33 earned-run average in eight starts for the Cubs. But the body of work in 2011 remains an issue from the Cubs' standpoint.

That last part is true. Coleman has been pretty bad so far this year in the major leagues. But again, this team is going nowhere this year. If you're going to lose games, at least lose them with someone who might get some valuable major league experience that could be useful to the team in the future.

Starting Rodrigo Lopez or Ramon Ortiz on Sunday is a complete waste of time. Both pitchers need to be thanked for their service and released.

Cubs lineup:

Fukudome RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Ramirez 3B, Peña 1B, DeWitt LF, Campana CF, Hill C, Zambrano P

Giants lineup was not in at posting time.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Matt Cain
Matt Cain
Giants
6-4 W-L 7-4
4.38 ERA 3.22
74 SO 89
40 BB 28
9 HR 7
vs. SF -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Carlos Zambrano 6-4 18 17 0 0 0 0 111.0 109 55 54 9 40 74 4.38 1.34


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Matt Cain 7-4 17 16 1 0 0 0 106.1 90 39 38 7 28 89 3.22 1.11

Both of these pitchers have done well against today's opponent. They matched up against each other on September 21, 2010 at Wrigley Field; neither allowed a run in six innings and the Giants won when Buster Posey homered off Andrew Cashner.

Which tells you a lot about the state of injuries in baseball today.

Anyway, Matt Cain has allowed only three runs over his last five starts combined against the Cubs -- all in one game on August 12, 2010 in San Francisco, and the Giants won that game anyway. Current Cubs are hitting .210 (22-for-105) against him, and Cain once homered off Carlos Zambrano, on August 23, 2007 in San Francisco.

Big Z, though, also has held current Giants down -- current Giants are hitting just .201 (28-for-139) against him.

Now that I've set up a pitchers' duel, today's game will probably be 12-11. Heck, Koyie Hill is 3-for-9 with a double against Cain.

Today's game is on WGN and CSN Bay Area. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 pm CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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