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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Preview, Friday 4/14, 1:20 CT

The Cubs won 14 of 18 from the Pirates last year. Let's hope that continues.

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Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, Gerrit Cole! Remember this from last year?

When a reporter posed the question that Cole just shut down the best team in baseball, the Pirates pitcher politely corrected the statement:

"It's just an opportunity to salvage the series," Cole said. "I don't really think they're the best team in baseball."

How'd that work out for you, Gerrit? Asking for a friend.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist RF, Russell SS, Heyward CF, Montero C, Hendricks P, Baez 2B

Pirates lineup:

Harrison 2B, Marte CF, McCutchen RF, Polanco LF, Freese 3B, Jaso 1B, Cervelli C, Mercer SS, Cole P

Kyle Hendricks vs. Gerrit Cole

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks' first start of the year was decent, not great (four runs in six innings). It was good enough to beat the Brewers last Saturday, and Hendricks also went 2-for-3 and drove in a run. Last year he gave the Pirates just one run in three starts covering 19 innings (0.47 ERA), with just one walk and 21 strikeouts. Current Pirates are hitting .234 against Hendricks (26-for-111) with two home runs (Josh Harrison, Gregory Polanco). Polanco is 7-for-17 overall vs. Hendricks.

Gerrit Cole is already making his third start of 2017. His first one was mediocre (five runs in five innings), the second better (three runs in six innings). He's already allowed three home runs in those 11 innings. The start referred to above against the Cubs last year was excellent (eight shutout innings), but the other time the Cubs faced him in 2016, May 2 in Pittsburgh, they scored six runs against him and he didn't get out of the fifth inning.

Today's game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Pittsburgh markets).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. 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.

Get tickets to Cubs games from our partner Stubhub here.

Discuss amongst yourselves.