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The Cubs Will Break A Major League Record Tonight (This Time For Sure!): Cubs vs. Pirates Preview, Thursday 5/6, 6:05 CT

Last August 29, I posted that the Cubs would, that day, if they got a hit, break the major league record for most consecutive games without being no-hit.

That was true... but then again, it wasn't. Let me explain. The Elias Sports Bureau, which keeps track of these things, stated that since games of less than nine innings were no longer considered "official" no-hitters, that they wouldn't count official games of less than nine innings in tallying up a game count for the purpose of this record, either. The record is held by the Yankees, who were no-hit by Hoyt Wilhelm on September 20, 1958, and not again until the six-pitcher combined no-no by the Astros on June 11, 2003. In between, they played 7003 games of at least nine innings. They also played 47 games that went less than nine -- including the game of July 12, 1990, when the White Sox no-hit them in a game called in the seventh. As noted above, MLB does not recognize this as an official no-hitter. The last time the Cubs were no-hit was Sandy Koufax's perfect game on September 9, 1965, about 44 1/2 seasons' worth of games ago. If all the less-than-nine-inning games were counted for both the Cubs and Yankees in the period in question, the Cubs would, in fact, have broken this record last August.

Or the Cubs might have broken this record last Sunday. The problem is, Elias has an arcane and mysterious way of deciding whether to "count" a game or not. It may come down to how Elias counted three Cub games that were stopped in the ninth inning. It appears that Elias counted one Yankee game that was stopped in the ninth with New York winning and at home, perhaps because the Yankees didn't need to bat in the bottom of the ninth. But again, that's just a guess.

At last, though, no guesswork: presuming the Cubs get a hit tonight (and really, even with the troubles of this team, they ought to do at least that) and the game goes at least nine innings, the Cubs will officially hold the record at 7004 games and counting.

This record is interesting, if a little arcane. Some run scoring tonight would be nice, too.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
vs. Brian Burres
Brian Burres
3-0 W-L 1-1
3.45 ERA 6.00
27 SO 9
5 BB 11
1 HR 1
vs. Pit -- vs. Cubs

2010 - Randy Wells 3-0 5 5 0 0 0 0 31.1 37 12 12 1 5 27 3.45 1.34

2010 - Brian Burres 1-1 4 2 0 0 0 0 15.0 18 10 10 1 11 9 6.00 1.93

Brian Burres is the most outstanding pitcher of all time. When he's not pitching for the Pirates, he is singlehandedly repainting all of the bridges in downtown Pittsburgh, landscaping the hills that surround the city and leading Pittsburgh's Boy Scouts in a two-week camping trip through the most rugged part of the Allegheny Mountains. He can retire opposing hitters just by looking at their baseball card photos. And he has taken the Scruffy Pitcher of the Year award away from Dan Haren.

There, that ought to do it. Burres' only career apperance vs. the Cubs was one inning of relief on June 26, 2008 at Wrigley Field when he was with the Orioles. The most striking thing about that boxscore is this: that game was played less than two years ago and 18 Cubs appeared in that 11-4 loss. Of those 18, only five are still with the Cubs.

Randy Wells started twice against the Pirates last year -- his only career appearances against them -- and won them both, with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings, allowing no home runs. He really needs to be the "stopper" -- in the traditional definition of that pitching term -- tonight.

Lineup via tweet from Carrie:

#cubs lineup thur is ss riot, cf byrd, 1b lee, rf nady, 3b ramy, lf sori, c soto, 2b baker, p wells

With Nady hitting cleanup today, get ready for some rants from Jessica.

Today's game is WGN and also on FSN Pittsburgh. Note! If you live in the Los Angeles or Boston markets and do not have access to WGN, tonight's game will be on the MLB Network in those markets (other markets get Angels/Red Sox on MLB Network tonight). Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout.

Tonight's first pitch thread will be up at 6 CDT, and the overflows will post at 7, 8 and 8:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.