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Cubs vs. Brewers Preview, Friday 9/26, 7:10 CT

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The final Cubs series of 2014 begins Friday night in Milwaukee.

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Brian Kersey

Except for this sentence, this preview will not mention Derek Jeter.

The Cubs swept the Brewers the last time the teams met, at the beginning of September at Wrigley Field, and the Cubs hold a 9-7 season-series edge, though the Brewers have taken four of the six games played so far at Miller Park. That shouldn't matter, as Milwaukee has been more or less in free-fall for the last month or so. Since August 19 the Brewers are 10-23. The Cubs are 16-18 since that date.

One win in this series clinches the season set for the Cubs as well as give them their highest win total since 2010. A sweep would make the Brewers a .500 team for the year and give the Cubs a 12-7 season edge.

In the entire history of the Cubs playing the Brewers, the Cubs have never won more than 10 games in a single season over Milwaukee. Here's a chance to do just that. Milwaukee leads the all-time series with 138 wins to 132 for the Cubs.

Please check out Russ La Croix' excellent series preview if you have not already done so.

Finally, here's your once-a-series reminder to check out (if you haven't already) SB Nation's partner fantasy site, Fan Duel, where you can win real money. Here's the link. (Last time this year! I promise!)

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Coghlan LF, Baez SS, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Valbuena 3B, Alcantara 2B, Szczur CF, Lopez C, Jokisch P

Rafael Lopez gets his first MLB start at catcher, though he did catch nearly the entire game last Friday when Welington Castillo left after the first inning.

Brewers lineup:

C. Gomez CF, Weeks 2B, Braun RF, Lucroy C, Davis LF, Rogers 1B, H. Gomez 3B, Segura SS, Nelson P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Eric Jokisch

Eric Jokisch


Cubs

vs. Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson


Brewers

vs. Mil

--

vs. Cubs

Eric Jokisch is making his first major-league start after three pretty good relief appearances (10⅓ innings, two earned runs). So far, he has not walked a batter in the major leagues, something he was also very good at this year at Triple-A Iowa (31 walks in 158⅓ innings, a BB/9 ratio of 1.8). He's got a shot at the 2015 rotation and this will be a good audition.

Jimmy Nelson pitched reasonably well (six innings, three runs) against the Cubs September 1 at Wrigley Field, but the Cubs won the game anyway. Welington Castillo homered off Nelson. Since that game Nelson has made one start and two relief appearances and has an 8.53 ERA and 2.053 WHIP in 6⅓ innings. More of that, please.

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 Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. Be careful over there, though.

For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads 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 this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.