In the midst of a playoff race, the Giants aren't necessarily catching the Cubs at the right time.
Chicago's North Side team is far from a juggernaut -- currently. The organization has stockpiled elite prospects for a few years, and some of those prized kids have arrived in Chicago, which has made trips to Wrigley Field a bit less friendly for the visiting team.
"They're getting their wins. This team has some great young talent. They're going to be even better because of these guys getting playing time," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday. "They have a good heart of the order -- young kids, of course. ... I think that's a team that could beat anybody.
"Today's baseball has so much parity. If you look at what happened throughout both leagues, one team may get up [and] they're coming back down. That's the game now. [The Cubs] are loaded with talent there. I think this is a club that's only going to get better with the young talent they're throwing out there."
They'll send well-traveled veteran Edwin Jackson to the mound on Wednesday night. Jackson is coming off a loss to the Brewers in which he gave up five runs over 4 2/3 innings. In his last three starts, he is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA, as he's served up 10 earned runs over 16 2/3 innings.
He'll be opposed by Jake Peavy, who returns to the city he once called home as a member of the White Sox. The Giants won Peavy's last outing, which snapped a 12-game losing streak for Peavy's team in his starts. He earned the win, which was his first with the Giants and first overall since April 25. He is 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts as a Giant.
Cubs: Club aiming to play spoiler
After watching as three teams clinched playoff berths against them last season, the Cubs are hoping to play the role of spoiler as the season enters the stretch run. They'll have plenty of chances, with each of their last 12 series comes against contending teams.
"These guys are going out here every single day to try to prove to the other team that they belong here with them," manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday. "I'll be honest, I think I'm really happy with the way we continue to play the game -- even against some of the better clubs. Have we had some hiccups along the way? Yeah. Is this a good place for us to be at right now? Damn right. We need to embrace this and play the game and show everybody that we're moving forward and we're growing.
"We're hoping to come out on the winning side obviously, but it's something that we can use to measure ourselves with."
Giants: Panik hopes to play Wednesday
Recovering nicely from a dislocated left pinkie, Giants second baseman Joe Panik could return to the lineup as early as Wednesday.
Panik, who was injured Sunday, tested his finger by participating in pregame batting practice -- he homered during his first round of swings -- and taking about 25 swings off a tee. Joaquin Arias replaced Panik at second base, and batted seventh.
"It's not going to be perfect," Panik said of the finger. "But it's getting better."
Panik hit .419 (18-for-43) in his previous 12 games to lift his batting average from .203 to .282.
• Anthony Rizzo hit his 29th home run on Tuesday night, which ties him for fourth most in the Majors.
• Catcher Hector Sanchez was diagnosed with his second concussion in less than a month on Tuesday, so Andrew Susac will remain as Buster Posey's backup for the foreseeable future.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.