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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Preview, Friday 9/25, 1:20 CT

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Here. We. Go.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

I know the importance of this series. But then, so do you. At this point, what more can I tell you about it that you don't already know or that you can't read in the series preview?

I'll just mention that it looks like absolutely gorgeous baseball weather not just this afternoon, but all weekend.

All I can add to that is: Go Cubs. Win this series.

Here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's partner daily fantasy game, FanDuel. If you want to participate, here's the link.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Coghlan RF, Russell SS, Ross C, Lester P, La Stella 2B

The Pirates lineup was not available at the time I wrote this preview. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Pirates lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jon Lester

Jon Lester


Cubs

vs. Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole


Pirates

vs. Pit

--

vs. Cubs

Jon Lester pitched his best game of the year in the second game of the doubleheader September 15 in Pittsburgh, a complete game with just five hits and one run allowed and nine strikeouts. He had another very good outing against the Pirates May 16 at Wrigley Field, seven innings, one run, seven strikeouts.

One more like that one and you can probably put this one in the "W" column.

Gerrit Cole is one of the top pitchers in the league, but he might be running out of gas this September. He has a 4.07 ERA in four September starts and the Cubs got to him for four runs in the first game of the doubleheader September 15. All I can say, just as above: one more like that one, and Lester holding the Bucs down, and the Cubs can win this game.

Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf). This is ABC7's final broadcast of 2015. In most of the USA this game will also be shown on MLB Network (check your 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 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.