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Pregame Thread: Cubs vs. Giants, Tuesday 7/1, 9:15 CT

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Chicago Cubs
@ San Francisco Giants

Tuesday, Jul 1, 2008, 9:15 PM CDT
AT&T Park

Jason Marquis vs Matt Cain

Mostly clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 60.

Complete Coverage >

The Giants have a better pitcher going for them tonight, but in general, their team is still... not very good.Carrie Muskat's mailbag contains the following exchange:What's the deal with Derrek Lee grounding into double plays so often? We're not even at the 80-game mark, and he has almost as many GDPs as he's ever had in a full season. His current pace puts him around 33, which would be more GDPs than anyone in the National League (at least back to 1933).-- Chris G., Minneapolis

He's not trying to do it. When asked, Lee said: "It's one of those years -- double play's the thing. I don't know what to do differently. I don't want to strike out. I'd rather hit a line drive in the gap, obviously. I'm just hitting ground balls at the wrong time. I guess that's what it comes down to."

He was asked before Saturday's game, and then went 5-for-5. Lee does hit the ball hard, which results in more double plays.

Look, I don't usually like to make fun, but really. He's not trying to hit into DP's? What a surprise! Gee, a lot of hitters DO try to do that, right? And hitting the ball hard results in more DP's, apparently. Who knew?

The SBN Giants site McCovey Chronicles is written by a Giants fan who is learning to revel in the mediocrity that the Giants are dropping into. For example, his comment on his game thread last night (warning! Long game thread - may take a while to load) sums up what it means to be the fan of a bad team:

If the Giants had signed Ted Lilly to the contract given to him by the Cubs, I would have complained for a month. Lucky for us, we signed Zito, so we didn't need to sign Lilly to some long contract for too much money.And then there's the MCC FanPost All-Pathetic Giants Team, which has several ex-Cubs on it and a mention of Neifi Perez in the comments.

Just remember, we've been there. It feels good to be on the other side of the pennant race fence now, doesn't it?

Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Marquis
J. Marquis
vs. Matt Cain
M. Cain
6-4 W-L 4-6
4.96 ERA 4.44
44 SO 97
34 BB 44
8 HR 12
vs. SF -- vs. Cubs

2008 - Jason Marquis 6-4 15 15 0 0 0 0 85.1 96 50 47 8 34 44 4.96 1.52

2008 - Matt Cain 4-6 17 17 0 0 0 0 105.1 99 54 52 12 44 97 4.44 1.36

Matt Cain, who has a great arm and is only 23, has a 4.06 lifetime ERA vs. the Cubs -- but is 2-1 in San Francisco, and both those wins are memorable. The first one was his third major league start on September 9, 2005, a two-hit CG. The other one was last August 23, when not only did he outpitch Carlos Zambrano, but also homered off him.

Jason Marquis, on the other hand, has thrown really well against the Giants in his career -- 3-0, 2.12, all in San Francisco, the last one on August 21, 2007, when he threw seven innings of one-run ball despite walking five. Randy Winn is 6-for-13 with 2 HR off Marquis and Rich Aurilia is 6-for-17 with a triple and a HR -- otherwise he handles everyone on the current SF roster pretty well. He wasn't very good in his last start. He needs to be tonight.

Tonight's game is on cable in the Bay Area, nationally on WGN, and at the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2008 version) game preview

Today's first pitch thread, again, posts right around first pitch time at 9:15 pm CT. The overflow comment threads will post at 10:15 and 11:15 pm CT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.