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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Saturday 9/2, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs look to keep their winning streak going.

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Reviewing Friday night’s action:

  • The Brewers got a first-inning homer from Neil Walker and hung on to defeat the Nationals 1-0, thus remaining 3½ games behind the Cubs. The Brewers and Nats will play again Saturday evening at 6:10 p.m. CT, with Max Scherzer against Brandon Woodruff.
  • The Cardinals entered the ninth inning trailing the Giants 6-5, but scored six runs off Mark Melancon and Sam Dyson and won 11-6. They are still six games out of first place. These two teams play Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT. Lance Lynn goes for the Cardinals and Chris Stratton for the Giants.
  • On August 11, the Pirates were just three games out of first place. Since then they are 5-14, the worst record in baseball, and have fallen 11½ games out of first place. They’re not mathematically eliminated yet, but they are essentially out of the race at this point.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

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

Braves lineup:

Inciarte CF, Albies 2B, Freeman 1B, Kemp LF, Markakis RF, Suzuki C, Swanson SS, Ruiz 3B, Sims P

Jon Lester vs. Lucas Sims

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester returns from the disabled list, where he’s missed a couple of starts with what was variously described as a “lat issue” and “fatigue.”

Whatever it is, hope he’s newly energized. Jon has had quite a number of really good starts this year, and a couple of real clunkers. His start against the Braves, July 17 in Atlanta, was in the “really good” category: seven innings, three hits, one run, six strikeouts. In fact, the Braves have been one of his favorite opponents his entire career: eight starts, 2.03 ERA, 1.088 WHIP.

Here’s hoping for a strong September (and October) for Jon.

Lucas Sims is making his seventh major-league start today. He’s thrown at least six innings in four of them and most have been at least decent.

He throws strikes (nine walks in 34⅓ innings) and seems to be mostly a ground-ball pitcher. He’ll have to have good control to retire Cubs hitters, none of whom have ever faced him before.

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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