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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Preview, Wednesday 8/5, 6:05 CT

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The Cubs go for their seventh straight win this evening.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The last time a Cubs team won seven in a row was in 2011, a kind of dead-cat bounce in early August for a team that wound up losing 91 games. Included in that streak was a four-game sweep of the Pirates at PNC Park. They were 23 games under .500 (42-65) when that streak began, on pace to lose 99 games. Of course, the Pirates are a much better team now than they were in 2011, but so are the Cubs.

The Cubs also won seven straight in 2005, 2007 and 2008, the longest winning streaks for the team since 2008 when they also had a nine-game streak.

This year's Cubs have now won six games in a row on two separate occasions. It's time to start really streaking and put several more wins in a row together, wouldn't you say?

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Schwarber C, Bryant 3B, Rizzo1B, Soler RF, Castro SS, Denorfia LF, Haren P, Russell 2B

Pirates lineup:

Polanco RF, Marte LF, McCutchen CF, Ramirez 3B, Kang SS, Walker 2B, Alvarez 1B, Cervelli C, Locke P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Dan Haren

Dan Haren


Cubs

vs. Jeff Locke

Jeff Locke


Pirates

vs. Pit

--

vs. Cubs

Dan Haren has not faced the Pirates this year -- possible advantage, Haren. Last time he faced the Pirates was July 23, 2014 at PNC Park, where he allowed a home run to a guy who isn't on the Pirates anymore. So that's good! On the other hand, Haren has allowed six home runs in his last three starts. Yikes! But none of those home runs were to Pirates. So that's good! Three of those home runs were allowed in Petco Park, which is not a hitters' park. So that's not good!

Good or not good? We'll find out in a couple of hours.

Jeff Locke should be a welcome sight for Cubs hitters. He has faced the Cubs three times this year and they have 21 hits and nine walks off him in 12⅓ innings, with 14 earned runs for a 10.22 ERA. He has allowed home runs to Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, and perhaps tonight Kyle Schwarber will add his name to that list. Locke does have a much better ERA at PNC Park (2.90) than on the road (6.43), though the Cubs hit him pretty well in his start against them in Pittsburgh. Time to get the bats going!

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 Pirates site Bucs Dugout. If you do go there to interact with Pirates 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.