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Chicago Cubs vs. Seattle Mariners Preview, Sunday 7/31, 7:05 CT

The Cubs look for the series win against the Mariners on the Worldwide Leader.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

You're probably more interested in discussing trades this afternoon, but there is a game tonight, with the Cubs looking for another series win. The Cubs have won 10 of their last 16, a win tonight would make it 11 of 17, which is a pretty decent run.

It's an unusual pitching matchup tonight. More below. And for the record, Brian Matusz' last name is pronounced "MATT-us."

And in case you were wondering, no 40-man roster move was necessary to make room for Matusz, as there was an open spot after last week's trades.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Contreras C, Coghlan LF, Matusz P

Mariners lineup:

O'Malley SS, Martin CF, Cano 2B, Cruz RF, Seager 3B, Gutierrez LF, Lee 1B, Zunino C, Hernandez P

Brian Matusz


Felix Hernandez

For the second time this year, a pitcher other than the Cubs' top five will start a game. Brian Matusz has not started in the big leagues in over four years. He was an effective reliever for the Orioles from 2013-15 (3.35 ERA, 1.220 WHIP, 159 strikeouts in 155⅔ innings) before he got off to a bad start this year and they traded him to the Braves, who promptly released him. The Cubs picked him up, he threw a couple decent games at Iowa, and here he is. Supposedly Cubs scouts and coaches picked up a flaw in his delivery. The last game he pitched in the big leagues was against the Mariners, May 17 in Baltimore. He allowed homers to Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz. Hopefully that's not repeated tonight.

Felix Hernandez suffered a calf injury jumping up to celebrate one of the Mariners' five home runs May 31 in San Diego. No, I am not making that up. He was supposed to be back after missing two starts -- instead, he was out almost two months and has not pitched well since his return: nine earned runs in 12⅔ innings and three home runs allowed. He has faced the Cubs once, June 24, 2010, and that boxscore should amuse you. Current Cubs are hitting a small-sample-size .179 (12-for-69) against him. Most of that is Ben Zobrist (5-for-37, though with six walks).

Today's game is on ESPN.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Mariners site Lookout Landing. If you do go there to interact with Mariners 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 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.

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.