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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Saturday 6/17, 7:15 CT

The Cubs go for two in a row over the Bucs.

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Rizzo thought he had his 150th career homer last night. It was called fair, then foul, then "call stands" on review. When he does hit that 150th homer, it will be his 149th as a Cub. That will break a tie for 14th place on the all-time Cubs list with Mark Grace. Next up: Andre Dawson (174).

Rizzo also has a 10-game hitting streak going in which he's hitting .371 with three homers, four doubles and 13 RBI.

Before last night, the Cubs' last previous six-run ninth inning was two years ago today, in the game I wrote about earlier this morning. They had a six-run inning and a seven-run inning against the Indians in Cleveland June 17, 2015.

And, if the Cubs win today or tomorrow they'll have their first road series win since... the last time they played in Pittsburgh, April 24-26.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

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

Pirates lineup:

Frazier 2B, Cervelli C, Polanco RF, Freese 3B, Bell 1B, McCutchen CF, Jaso LF, Mercer SS, Nova P

Jake Arrieta vs. Ivan Nova

MLB: Chicago Cubs-Media Day Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a note about Jake Arrieta that could be significant for him for the rest of the year, from manager Joe Maddon:

Maddon believes Jake Arrieta might benefit if he doesn't throw between starts after the right-hander experienced his skin splitting along the inside of his pitching thumb.

"We have to be mindful of the impact of throwing over the last few years," Maddon said.

Sounds good. Why they didn't figure this out a year ago is beyond me.

Jake seems to be turning things around, then he has a mediocre start like he did in his last outing. His start against the Pirates earlier this year, April 15 at Wrigley Field, wasn't all that good (5⅔ innings, three runs, two home runs), although the loss wasn't his fault (the bullpen blew a lead).

Ivan Nova is having the best year of his career and has been the Pirates' most consistent pitcher all season. In his last start he threw six one-hit innings against the Marlins.

His only career start against the Cubs was in that weird 1-1 tie game last September at PNC Park, where he threw 5⅓ good innings against a Cubs team that was devoid of most of its regulars.

In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Today's game is on Fox-TV (regional). Here’s the coverage map. The Cubs game is Fox’s primary game with Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz as announcers. A reminder that if you subscribe to or MLB Extra Innings and this game is not on the Fox station in your market, you can still watch via those services.

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.