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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Sunday 6/18, 12:35 CT

The Cubs still have a chance at a series win.

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs won the last series they played in PNC Park back in April. In fact, that's the last time they won a series on the road. Since that series the Cubs are 5-15 in road games.

I'd like to see that losing stop today, wouldn't you?

Anthony Rizzo is riding an 11-game hitting streak in which he's batting .385/.520/.718 (15-for-39) with four doubles, three home runs, 11 walks and 13 RBI. Rizzo is a noted streak hitter; it'd be great if this streak would continue.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Rizzo 1B, Happ 2B, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Almora CF, La Stella 3B, Baez SS, Lackey P, Jay LF

Kris Bryant, who is struggling, again gets a day off.

Pirates lineup:

Frazier LF, Harrison 2B, Polanco RF, Freese 3B, Bell 1B, McCutchen CF, Diaz C, Mercer SS, Taillon P

John Lackey vs. Jameson Taillon

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

John Lackey. Don't really know what to say about him anymore. He's having his worst year since his Tommy John surgery and since he threw seven shutout innings at Colorado on May 9, he has a 6.48 ERA in six starts covering 33⅓ innings, with 11 (!) home runs allowed.

He's going to have to be better than that for the Cubs to win today.

Jameson Taillon made six good starts this year before being diagnosed with testicular cancer. He missed five weeks while having treatments and returned June 12 and threw five shutout innings against the Rockies.

In his only appearance against the Cubs this year, April 16 at Wrigley Field, he allowed one unearned run in seven strong innings.

He's been good this year. He has a great story behind him.

Clearly, we are doomed.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. 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.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.