A few notes as we await tonight's game.
- The Cubs bullpen has been better lately: a 1.59 ERA (22⅔ IP, four earned runs) over the last six games.
- Kyle Schwarber has led off 18 of the Cubs' 19 games. He has reached base to lead off the game in nine of those 18.
- The Cubs have 15 ninth-inning runs this year, third in MLB behind the Indians (21) and Angels (18).
- Happy birthday to the Cubs franchise! It was on this date, April 25, 1876, that the franchise (then known as "White Stockings") debuted with a 4-0 victory at Louisville.
Here are today’s particulars.
Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Contreras C, Hendricks P, Almora CF
Here is your #Cubs lineup for the middle game in Pittsburgh.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 25, 2017
Game preview: https://t.co/EVYvvtqrcV pic.twitter.com/wbBbJoZT4F
Harrison 3B, Bell 1B, McCutchen CF, Polanco LF, Cervelli C, Jaso RF, Mercer SS, Hanson 2B, Cole P
Kyle Hendricks vs. Gerrit Cole
This game is a pitching rematch of the game April 14 at Wrigley Field. Kyle Hendricks actually didn't pitch that badly; he allowed one run in five innings, then gave up two singles to start the sixth. Justin Grimm relieved him and allowed both runners to score, running up a couple of extra runs against Kyle's ERA. Gerrit Cole allowed two runs in six innings. Since then he's made a similar start against the Cardinals.
Hopefully the Kyle Hendricks from last year shows up tonight.
Today's game is on WGN. Bonus TV coverage nationally! MLB Network will now televise this game outside the Chicago and Pittsburgh markets due to the Red Sox and Yankees being rained out. So if you're outside those markets with access to MLBN, you can now watch tonight's game. (Chicago and Pittsburgh market viewers get Rays/Orioles on MLBN.)
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com 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.