Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants Preview, Wednesday 8/31, 2:45 CT: Going For A Rarity

Write your own caption. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The last time the Cubs swept the Giants in San Francisco was in 1993, when they took a three-game set from Sept. 13-15. In fact, that was a pretty good accomplishment, because that Giants team won 103 games and missed the then wild-card-less postseason by just one game; the Atlanta Braves won 104 and the NL West. The 1993 Cubs were the only Cubs team between 1972 and 1995 to finish with a winning record and not make the playoffs. The Cubs have swept a three-game series only two other times in San Francisco since the Giants moved there in 1958: in 1967 and 1977.

Winning pitchers in that series were Greg Hibbard, Jose Bautista (not this guy) and Mike Morgan.

Last year, the Cubs helped the Giants into the playoffs by losing five of seven to them, and also defeating the Padres three of four in the season's final week. If the Cubs win today's game, it will put the Giants in a pretty deep hole in the NL West.

This is why we love baseball. In the immortal word of Joaquin Andujar, "Youneverknow."

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Johnson RF, Ramirez 3B, Baker 1B, Soriano LF, Byrd CF, Soto C, Barney 2B, Lopez P

The Giants lineup was not available at posting time. Apparently, they were too busy making roster moves (both Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand were DFA'd today).

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rodrigo Lopez
Rodrigo Lopez
Cubs
vs. Madison Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner
Giants
4-5 W-L 8-12
4.80 ERA 3.59
38 SO 146
20 BB 39
12 HR 10
vs. SF -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Rodrigo Lopez 4-5 21 11 0 0 0 0 69.1 82 44 37 12 20 38 4.80 1.47


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Madison Bumgarner 8-12 29 27 0 0 0 0 165.1 173 74 66 10 39 146 3.59 1.28

Rodrigo Lopez started against the Giants on June 28 at Wrigley Field. He was... not so great. He wasn't so great in four starts against them last year when he was with the Diamondbacks, either. (No, I'm not posting those links.) Current Giants are hitting .354 (67-for-189) against Lopez with five home runs. Even this weak-hitting Giants team might wake up today.

Madison Bumgarner threw six decent innings against the Cubs on May 13 at Wrigley Field and then the Giants bullpen blew the game. Lifetime vs. the Cubs he has a 2.89 ERA in three starts, 18 strikeouts in 18.2 innings, and no home runs allowed. Clearly, we are doomed. Mostly.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago 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 2:45 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 3:45 pm, 4:45 pm and 5:30 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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