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Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants Preview, Thursday 8/6, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs and Giants are fighting for wild-card position as this big four-game weekend set begins.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs will not travel outside the city of Chicago until August 25, spending nearly three weeks in town. Their next 17 games are in the city limits: four against the Giants and three vs. the Brewers at home. Then they go to the South Side to play the White Sox, after which they return to Wrigley for two against the Tigers, four vs. the Braves and a makeup game against the Indians.

The last time the Cubs played 17 straight games in the city of Chicago was in 2000, when they were in town for that many games against the Braves (three), Tigers (three), Diamondbacks (three), White Sox (three on the South Side), Mets (two) and Expos (three) from May 29 through June 18. Before that it hadn't happened since 1967.

The Cubs have struggled at times at Wrigley Field this year. It's time they took advantage of being at home.

Finally, here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's partner daily fantasy game, FanDuel. If you want to participate, here's the link.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Schwarber C, Coghlan LF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Soler RF, Castro SS, Hammel P, Russell 2B

Giants lineup:

Pagan CF, Aoki LF, Duffy 3B, Pence RF, Belt 1B, Crawford SS, Adrianza 2B, Sanchez C, Heston P

No Buster Posey tonight.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel


Cubs

vs. Chris Heston

Chris Heston


Giants

vs. SF

--

vs. Cubs

Jason Hammel struggled after a leg injury during a start against the Cardinals July 8. Only in his last outing against the Brewers last Friday did he finally start to look healthy again. The last time he faced the Giants was his first start after being traded to Oakland last summer, July 9, 2014, a decent but not great outing. Current Giants are 11-for-49 against him, most of that being Hunter Pence (5-for-17, one home run).

Chris Heston spent five years in the Giants' farm system and after posting a 5.80 ERA in 19 Triple-A starts in 2013, he was designated for assignment. And then:

Yes, that's right. Released. Anyone could have signed him, including the Cubs. No one picked him up the second half of 2013, but the Giants brought him back in spring training the following year. He had a better year in Triple-A in 2014 and now he's thrown a no-hitter in the big leagues this year and is a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate.

Go figure, right? He's been very good all year, though he didn't make it out of the fifth inning in his last start (against the Rangers). He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current Cubs roster.

Clearly, we are doomed.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

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. If you do go there to interact with Giants fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.