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Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants preview, Sunday 7/31, 6:08 CT

The Cubs go for a series split in San Francisco.

Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s roster move: Here

The Cubs made a minor-league deal Sunday afternoon and I didn’t think that was worth an entire article. Here it is:

Raynel Espinal is 30 and pitched in one MLB game last year for the Red Sox. The Giants signed him as a minor league free agent this past February. He also spent several years in the Yankees organization.

Organizational filler, I’d say.

Sunday notes...

  • IT’S JUST A HANDFUL OF TEAMS, REALLY: Cubs vs. Dodgers, Mets, Orioles, White Sox and Yankees: 2-19. Cubs vs. all other teams: 39-40.
  • THE BULLPEN HAS BEEN GREAT: The Cubs bullpen has allowed just four earned runs in 42.1 innings spanning the team’s last 11 games (0.85 ERA). In that 11-game span Cubs relievers have walked 16, struck out 46 and held opponents to a .175 BA (25-for-143).
  • THE CLOSE GAMES CONTINUE: Including Saturday’s 5-4 loss at San Francisco, the Cubs have played in 56 games decided by two or fewer runs, tied for third-most in the majors. however, the team’s .393 winning percentage (22-34) in games decided by two or fewer runs is fourth-lowest in MLB. Saturday’s game also makes six consecutive games for the Cubs, and nine of the last 11, decided by two or fewer runs.
  • THE NICO FILES: Nico Hoerner’s 35 strikeouts are the fewest for any qualified hitter in the NL this year and fourth-fewest in MLB behind Steven Kwan (31), Luis Arraez (32) and Alejandro Kirk (33).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Giants lineup:

Adrian Sampson, RHP vs. Carlos Rodón, LHP


Adrian Sampson keeps going out there and proving the naysayers wrong. Sure, it’s still just 39⅓ innings, but he throws strikes and goes fairly deep into starts, helping save the bullpen.

He has never faced the Giants and the only current Giant who has faced him is our old buddy Tommy La Stella (0-for-2), so perhaps that will be to Sampson’s advantage.

I had hoped the Cubs would sign Carlos Rodón last year, but his loyalty to the White Sox (and their offer of a major league deal) took precedence.

He then used the good year he had there to leverage a two-year, $44 million deal with the Giants, so good for him.

Since the All-Star break he’s been hit pretty hard in two starts (Dodgers and Diamondbacks), both on the road. He has a 2.05 ERA and only two HR allowed in eight starts (44 innings) at Oracle Park this year.


Today’s game is on ESPN.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2022 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.