Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants Preview, Tuesday 8/30, 9:15 CT: Fun With Home Runs

Blake DeWitt of the Chicago Cubs is greeted at home plate by Randy Wells and Starlin Castro after hitting a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the seventh inning during a baseball game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. The Cubs won the game 7-0. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Last night, the Cubs hit four home runs off Giants pitching, giving them a total of 129, which ranks seventh in the National League.

Of those, 74 have been solo shots, 40 have come with one man on and 15 with two men on.

What's missing? The Cubs have not hit a grand slam this year. They are the only team to not have one -- the White Sox were in that "club", before Tyler Flowers hit one on Sunday.

Since the beginning of the divisional play era, the Cubs have failed to hit a grand slam in 1977, 1981, 1982, 1994 and 1997. Two of those (1981 and 1994) were strike years, and two others (1981 and 1982) were pretty bad teams. So this year's team would be a matching piece to that set.

The Cubs are actually hitting fairly well with the bases loaded: .286/.325/.408 in 114 PA, with 78 runs scored on 28 hits and eight walks. There just haven't been any home runs. The last grand slam the Cubs hit was by Aramis Ramirez off J.A. Happ of the Astros on October 2, 2010 in Houston. The last one hit by a Cub at Wrigley Field was by Kosuke Fukudome on April 29, 2010 off the Diamondbacks' Ian Kennedy.

So it's way past time for the Cubs to hit a grand slam. Recent teams that have failed to hit one: 2010 Mets; 2009 Angels and Braves; 2007 Mets and Royals.

(h/t: baseball historian Ed Hartig for Cubs and other team historical info)

Cubs lineup:

SS Castro, 2B Barney, 3B Ramirez, 1B Pena, LF Soriano, CF Byrd, RF Colvin, C Soto, P Garza

Giants lineup:

Torres cf, Keppinger 2b, Beltran rf, Sandoval 3b, Huff 1b, Belt lf, Fontenot ss, Stewart c, Vogelsong p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Matt Garza
Matt Garza
Cubs
vs. Ryan Vogelsong
Ryan Vogelsong
Giants
6-10 W-L 10-4
3.68 ERA 2.54
157 SO 109
53 BB 52
12 HR 11
vs. SF -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Matt Garza 6-10 25 25 1 0 0 0 151.2 146 76 62 12 53 157 3.68 1.31


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Ryan Vogelsong 10-4 25 22 1 1 0 0 142.0 126 48 40 11 52 109 2.54 1.25

Somehow, in the two series the Cubs played against the Giants at Wrigley Field this season, Matt Garza didn't pitch at all. And he hasn't faced the Giants at any other time in his career, either. Current Giants are hitting .254 (17-for-67) against Garza, but the way they've been hitting lately, who knows?

Ryan Vogelsong has made two starts against the Cubs this year. He threw six shutout innings on May 14, but that was in a monsoon. In better weather on June 28, he gave up three runs in five innings. All the runs scored on home runs by Koyie Hill and Carlos Pena. In short, who knows?

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 9:15 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 10:15 pm, 11:15 pm and midnight CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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