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Cubs vs. Brewers Preview, Wednesday 9/3, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs go for the sweep!

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Cubs swept the Brewers in a series was April 23-25, 2010, at Miller Park. 2010 is also the last time the Cubs had a winning record for a season against Milwaukee.

The last time the Cubs swept the Brewers at Wrigley Field? Ready for this?

August 23-25, 2004. That's right, more than 10 years ago. In the interim, the Cubs have gone 76-86 against Milwaukee, exactly one season's worth of games. They're 8-7 against the Brewers so far this year and a win tonight would mean they'd have to win only one of the three in Milwaukee later this month to win the season series.

These things are important, because if the Cubs are going to move back into contention they're going to have to start defeating their divisional opponents regularly. Now's as good a time as any to start.

Cubs libeup:

Coghlan lf, Baez ss, Valbuena 3b, Soler rf, Castillo c, Alcantara cf, Watkins 2b, Valaika 1b, Hendricks p

Brewers lineup:

Gennett 2B, Parra RF, Lucroy C, Ramirez 3B, Davis LF, Clark 1B, Schafer CF, Segura SS, Garza P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks


Cubs

vs. Matt Garza

Matt Garza


Brewers

vs. Mil

--

vs. Cubs

Kyle Hendricks had one of his best starts this year against the Brewers, August 12 at Wrigley Field. He threw 7⅓ shutout innings, allowed just six singles, and struck out five. And that was with Milwaukee still having Carlos Gomez, who's out now. When Hendricks faced the Cardinals in his last start -- the first team he'd faced twice -- they came out in the first inning hitting him hard, but then he adjusted and wound up with another good start. If Hendricks can get through the first inning tonight, good things should happen.

Matt Garza is making his first start since August 3, when he left a start against the Cardinals with an oblique injury, which can be tough to come back from. It's the third straight year Garza has spent some time on the DL, as we well know. He made one start earlier this year against the Cubs, April 25 at Miller Park, where he threw seven strong innings in a Brewers win. I don't recall the Cubs bunting much on him that night -- maybe they should.

Plus, I'd like to wipe that [expletive deleted]-eating grin off Garza's face.

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.