Once a year, I turn this space over to my friend Grant Brisbee of SB Nation's Giants site McCovey Chronicles for his thoughts on the series and the Cubs:
The thing about this series is that it feels like two teams passing each other on an escalator. The Giants are contending this year, true. The Cubs are ... not. But if I look into the future two, three, four years from now, I get an awful feeling that the Giants have really painted themselves into an awful corner with a combination of long-term deals and horrible prospect development over the last couple years. They'll need some surprises to stay relevant, and it's never a good thing when a team relies on surprises. On the other hand, I'm smitten with the young talent the Cubs have stockpiled. They have a smart front office who took a lot of guff from grumpy fans when they decided not to spend in previous offseasons -- Al, for example! -- except they're set up very well now, reminding me of the Mariners before they signed Robinson Cano. They're going to have so much flexibility and so much offensive talent if those counted eggs become chickens. In the meantime, though, if they could do the Giants a favor and play poorly, that would be just swell. The Giants are mostly incapable of beating good teams, but they do okay when the other team out-Giants the Giants. So if the Cubs would do that, I think everyone would be better off. What have the Giants ever done to the Cubs? Except for that one thing.
For more from the Cubs perspective, please check out Russ La Croix' excellent series preview if you haven't already done so.
Unrelated: here's your once-a-series reminder to check out (if you haven't already) SB Nation's partner fantasy site, Fan Duel, where you can win real money. Here's the link.
Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Alcantara CF, Sweeney RF, Wada P
The Giants lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Giants lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Tsuyoshi Wada has had two very good starts in a row. If he makes it three, perhaps there could be something in the Cubs' future for him. One thing he's started to do well at the big-league level, as he did at Triple-A Iowa, is not walk hitters -- just two in his last 12⅔ innings. He has never faced the Giants nor anyone on their roster. Usually, when the Cubs face pitchers like that, it's doom. Maybe it can work in reverse tonight.
Ryan Vogelsong has had a mediocre season, but has stepped it up in August: three starts, 22 innings (including a complete game against the Mets), 1.64 ERA, 0.727 WHIP. Current Cubs are a small-sample-size 10-for-35 (.286) against him with one home run (Anthony Rizzo).
This one ought to be low-scoring, I'd think. (Now that I've written that, watch for an 11-10 game.)
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.