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Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants Preview, Wednesday 6/29, 7:05 CT: Two Important 2011 Tales

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Center fielder Tony Campana of the Chicago Cubs makes a diving catch on a line drive hit by Chris Iannetta of the Colorado Rockies during the second inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Center fielder Tony Campana of the Chicago Cubs makes a diving catch on a line drive hit by Chris Iannetta of the Colorado Rockies during the second inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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I came across two articles this morning, both from the Sun-Times, that I think tell stories about this season.

First, Gordon Wittenmyer points out in his game recap from yesterday that this team is beginning to resemble the 1966 team in one way:

... the Cubs assured they’ll reach the halfway mark of the season — 81 games today — without so much as a three-game winning streak, becoming only the third Cubs team in more than 130 years of franchise history to manage that and the first since 1966.

The 1966 Cubs eventually won three in a row in August, then four straight (and three straight again) in September. That team tied the franchise record for defeats with 103. The difference between that team and this year's, is that in 1966 Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and others gave hope for the future. Where are those types of players now? (Also, in my research I have found only one team that went farther into the season than August without a three-game win streak -- the 1969 Montreal Expos, who didn't win three straight until Sept. 12-15, when they won four in a row. Naturally, the fourth of those wins was over a tailspinning Cubs team.)

The other thing I wanted to mention is what Ozzie Guillen said after the White Sox lost in extra innings to the Rockies. Ozzie? Yes, Ozzie:

Lillibridge was in center because Guillen benched Alex Rios (0-for-3) for not running hard. Rios also dropped a fly ball.

"Rios don’t run the bases; that’s why I got him out of the game," Guillen said. "It’s not the first time it happened. I don’t like the way he runs the bases. .  .  . And that’s a message for everyone: If they don’t f---ing run the bases, their reputation comes on me, and I have a greater reputation in this f---ing game to do it that way. They don’t run the bases, they’re out of the game. I don’t give a s--- if it’s Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn or anyone. You don’t run the bases, you’re out of the game."

I'm not a huge Ozzie fan and I don't think many of you are, either. But I'd like to see Mike Quade do this, instead of hearing him bleat out his cutesy nicknames. (Didn't see Ozzie call his CF "Rios-y" or his DH "Dunnsy".)

Cubs lineup:

Fukudome RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Peña 1B, DeWitt 3B, Soriano LF, Johnson CF, Soto C, Dempster P

Giants lineup:

Torres cf, Burriss 2b, Sandoval 3b, Huff 1b, Ross lf, Schierholtz rf, Tejada ss, Stewart c, Lincecum p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum
Giants
5-6 W-L 6-6
5.31 ERA 3.16
92 SO 113
37 BB 38
14 HR 7
vs. SF -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Ryan Dempster 5-6 18 17 0 0 0 0 98.1 110 61 58 14 37 92 5.31 1.49


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tim Lincecum 6-6 16 16 1 1 0 0 105.1 87 43 37 7 38 113 3.16 1.19

This may work out better than you might think. Ryan Dempster pitched against the Giants on May 13 at Wrigley Field. He gave up just two runs in six innings and struck out 11. Current Giants are hitting .258 against him (40-for-155) with just two HR.

Tim Lincecum was supposed to have started the May 15 game that got rained out at Wrigley. Instead, his last start against the Cubs was on August 10, 2010 in San Francisco; the Cubs hit him pretty hard that night (including a HR by Kosuke Fukudome) and the Cubs won, the only game they won in that four-game series. Lifetime vs. the Cubs he's just 3-3 (in seven starts) with a 3.50 ERA.

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 7 pm CDT and the overflow threads will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.