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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Preview, Sunday 4/16, 1:20 CT

The Cubs try to salvage one game out of their set with the Pirates.

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Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Before today, the last time the Cubs entered a game with a losing record at Wrigley Field was September 23, 2014, when they faced the Cardinals with a home record of 39-40.

They beat the Cardinals that day and the next to finish 2014 with a home record of 41-40. In 2015-16 combined the Cubs were 106-56 at Wrigley Field.

They're 2-3 so far at home this year. I'd think that kind of thing would turn around fairly soon. Today would be a good time to start.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

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

Pirates lineup:

Mercer SS, Marte CF, McCutchen RF, Freese 1B, Cervelli C, Harrison 3B, Gosselin 2B, Frazier LF, Taillon P

Jon Lester vs. Jameson Taillon

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

Jon Lester has picked up where he left off last year, making two good starts so far (two earned runs in 11 innings, 14 strikeouts, ). Current Pirates are hitting .254 (34-for-134) against Jon with three home runs (Andrew McCutchen, Jordy Mercer, Chris Stewart). The Cubs need him to step up today in order to take one of this three-game series.

Jameson Taillon has also been very good this year (13 innings, two earned runs, 1.000 WHIP). He made two starts against the Cubs last year. They hit him hard June 19 at Wrigley Field, but September 28 in Pittsburgh, he allowed just one hit in six innings.

The Cubs really do need to step up their offense. The 46 runs scored so far ranks 10th in the National League.

Today's game is on WGN.

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.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.