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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Thursday 10/1, 11:35 a.m. CT

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The Cubs go for their fifth straight win.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cubs have swept seven series of at least three games this season as well as taking both games in a rain-abbreviated two-game set against the Reds in Cincinnati in April.

They've got a chance for an eighth sweep this afternoon in Cincinnati. Not only are they going for their fifth win in a row, but it would be the Reds' 12th straight loss. The last time a Reds team lost 12 in a row was in 1993, also in September of a year they were expected to contend and flopped.

This year's Cubs performance against the Reds -- 12-6 so far -- is especially gratifying given the horrific Cubs record vs. Cincinnati in recent years. The Cubs went 28-60 against the Reds from 2010 through 2014.

I think you'll agree: this is better.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Jackson RF, Castro 2B, Rizzo 1B, Denorfia LF, Baez 3B, Schwarber C, Hammel P, Russell SS

Well, that's different.

The Reds lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Reds lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel


Cubs

vs. John Lamb

John Lamb


Reds

vs. Cin

--

vs. Cubs

Jason Hammel did not have a good September. He threw six innings in just one of his five starts and had a 6.46 ERA for the month. But now it's October! Perhaps he can turn the page and have a good outing today, as he is still fighting for a spot in the playoff rotation. Against the Reds this year, he's made two starts and allowed six earned runs in 10 innings, with eight strikeouts. He'll really have to do better than that.

John Lamb was acquired by the Reds from the Royals in the Johnny Cueto trade. He was once one of the Royals' top prospects (No. 11 overall prospect according to Baseball Prospectus in 2011) before he had Tommy John surgery in 2011. He struggled for a couple of years before having a good year (2.67 ERA in 20 starts) in Triple-A this year. He has made nine major-league starts and most of them have been mediocre; he got crushed by the Mets in his last outing. He has, obviously, never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current roster.

As far as I can tell, he is not related to this 1970s Pirates pitcher named John Lamb, nor to Ray Lamb, who pitched for the Indians and Dodgers, also in the 1970s.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. In most of the USA (including the Cincinnati market) this agme will be shown on MLB Network. Check your local cable/satellite listings.

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 Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds 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 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.

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. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.