Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox Preview, Friday 7/1, 1:20 CT: Once Again, Going For Three Straight

Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs is congratulated by teammates after scoring to win the game in the 13th inning against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field on June 30, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.The Cubs defeated the Giants 5-2 in 13 innings. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

The "three-game winning streak", something that 29 other teams have this season (including the worst-in-the-majors Astros, who won four in a row in late May/early June), has eluded the Cubs eight different times this year. That's right, they have eight two-game winning streaks, and have failed each time to stretch it to three.

They've got another chance today. I don't have any particular dislike for the White Sox, but I admit, it would be nice to get that third straight win today. And then, stretch it to four and five.

On another topic, much has been made about this recent quote from Jim Hendry:
"I read some things that people assume," he said. "They use the word ‘fire sale.’ That’s not going to happen. We’re not interested in trading people at all that will be valuable to us moving forward.

"People like to float names of your better players, which makes no sense to trade. If we make moves, it will be designed to make us better for the future, and we still want see how we play the next month or so.

"Everybody thinks there’s this big, automatic, ‘You have to be a buyer or a seller or it’s fire-sale time.’ Well, we’ve got a lot of young people out there pitching and playing or some people who will be very productive for us a year from now that when you get ready to put together a team in the off-season, you certainly don’t want to start out without them anyhow … We’re certainly going to hold on to the people, no matter what, we feel will be major contributors down the road."

To me, this doesn't mean that the Cubs won't make deals if they are -- as it appears they will be -- far out of contention at the end of this month. It only means that they won't dump people just to do so, and won't trade valuable players that can be the core of the future of the team.

There may be untradeable contracts on this team. Or untradeable players, regardless of whether the Cubs eat the contract or not. For example, say they want to trade Kosuke Fukudome and have to pay the rest of his deal (about $7 million) and can only get a fringe prospect. Why would you do that? Pay him anyway and get almost nothing of value in return?

Anyway, it's just the beginning of July. Let's see what happens.

Cubs lineup:

RF Fukudome, 2B Barney, SS Castro, 3B Ramirez, 1B Pena, LF Soriano, CF Johnson, C Soto, P Wells

White Sox lineup:

Pierre LF, Morel 3B, Quentin RF, Konerko 1B, Pierzynski C, Ramirez SS, Rios CF, Beckham 2B, Jackson P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
vs. Edwin Jackson
Edwin Jackson
White Sox
1-2 W-L 4-6
6.25 ERA 4.13
23 SO 81
19 BB 32
5 HR 6
vs. Sox -- vs. Cubs

2011 - Randy Wells 1-2 7 7 0 0 0 0 36.0 40 26 25 5 19 23 6.25 1.64

2011 - Edwin Jackson 4-6 15 15 0 0 0 0 93.2 107 45 43 6 32 81 4.13 1.48

Randy Wells has pitched twice against the White Sox in his career, once in 2009 and once in 2010. One was good and one... not so much. No current Sox player has more than nine career AB against Randy, but overall they are hitting .385 (15-for-39) against him. Adam Dunn has homered (though this year, that may not mean much).

Edwin Jackson has three career starts against the Cubs, one while he was with the Tigers in 2009, two while he was with the Diamondbacks in 2010. Overall, Cubs teams have hit him pretty hard -- an 8.44 ERA and nine walks in 16 innings. But current Cubs are hitting just .191 (9-for-47) against him. Four of those hits belong to Alfonso Soriano (4-for-9) with a HR.

Today's game is on WGN (with Len & Bob) and CSN Chicago (with Sox announcers). Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation White Sox site South Side Sox. The usual caution is advised.

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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