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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Wednesday 8/30, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs go for their second Wrigley sweep of the month.

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Notes for this evening’s contest:

  • Notable closer: Wade Davis set a Cubs franchise record Tuesday night with his 27th consecutive save. He also converted his last six save opportunities in 2016; the 33 consecutive saves are the longest current active streak.
  • More relief notes: Brian Duensing has stranded 25 of 30 inherited runners this season, allowing just 16.7 percent of the runners to score, tied for the third-best percentage among N.L. relievers. Carl Edwards Jr. has limited opponents to a .126 batting average (22-for-174), the best mark among major league relief pitchers. So overall, Cubs relievers are doing a pretty good job.
  • Non-relief note: The Cubs now have a +76 run differential since the All-Star break. That’s best in the major leagues in that span, one run better than the Indians (+75).
  • Note if you are going to tonight’s game: The Cubs are donating the proceeds from tonight’s Wrigley Field 50/50 raffle to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jay CF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Happ 2B, Heyward RF, Baez SS, Rivera C, Quintana P

Pirates lineup:

Harrison 2B, Rodriguez RF, McCutchen CF, Bell 1B, Freese 3B, Marte LF, Mercer SS, Stewart C, Nova P

Jose Quintana vs. Ivan Nova

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Quintana hasn’t exactly been the pitcher we hoped the Cubs had acquired when they made the big trade with the White Sox last month. He has had several good outings, but others where he got hit hard, including his last time out against the Phillies, when he allowed nine hits and six runs in five innings.

The last (and only) time he faced the Pirates was June 16, 2015. He allowed three runs in six innings. I think we’d take that tonight.

Ivan Nova has made two starts vs. the Cubs this year and allowed five earned runs in 13⅔ innings. All five of those runs scored as a result of home runs: three solo homers (Ian Happ, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber) and one two-run shot (Jake Arrieta). Obviously not all of those players are in tonight’s game, but Nova is clearly vulnerable to the home run (25 allowed overall this year).

Nova also generally doesn’t walk many hitters, but I’ll note that of his 27 walks this year, 10 have come in August. Perhaps he’s wearing down a bit over the long season.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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.