Though these games don't mean anything to the Cubs' postseason chances or schedule, as those are both nailed down, they also have to keep their edge, not wanting to let up lest they enter the playoffs unprepared.
So Joe Maddon will have to balance resting some regulars with getting them enough work to stay sharp, especially since they'll all have four days off after the season ends Sunday before the first postseason game at Wrigley Field next Friday.
The rain that missed Chicago Sunday night might hit Pittsburgh later today. Here's a handy radar image to keep track (should auto-update, if it doesn't, just reload the page):
Fun fact of the day:
STATS Inc. says #Cubs Ross is 1st player to go 9 yrs between 10 HR seasons since Dale Sveum (10 years, 1987 and 1997)— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 26, 2016
Here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's daily fantasy partner FanDuel. If you want to play, click this link.
Here are today's particulars.
Coghlan LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Russell SS, Almora CF, Baez 2B, Hendricks P
These are the sorts of lineups I think we'll see this week -- half the regulars getting the day off each day, so the bench players can get some playing time. Sort of like a spring training split-squad lineup.
Jaso 1B, Bell RF, McCutchen CF, Kang 3B, Rodriguez 2B, Cervelli C, Frazier LF, Mercer SS, Kuhl P
In the last start Kyle Hendricks made against the Pirates, August 30 at Wrigley Field, he threw seven shutout innings and allowed three hits. Though Hendricks hasn't (overall) been as good on the road as at home, in his last five road starts he's thrown 33⅓ innings and allowed 19 hits and seven walks (0.780 WHIP) and six earned runs (1.62 ERA). That's pretty good, I'd say.
If Kyle throws six shutout innings tonight, his ERA will stand at 1.99 for the season.
Chad Kuhl was Hendricks' opponent August 30. The Cubs scored three runs in five innings off him, including a home run by Anthony Rizzo. Kuhl's been pretty good overall this year, but the Cubs have a total of 11 hits, three walks and seven runs off him in 7⅓ innings (8.59 ERA, 1.909 WHIP). Keep that going, Cubs.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
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.