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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Thursday 4/12, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for meatloaf this afternoon.

Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

More Javy!

Wednesday was the second straight multihomer game for Javier Baez, and the third such game in his career.

Baez is the sixth Cubs second baseman to have more than one multihomer game with the team. The others: Ryne Sandberg (24 multi-homer games), Rogers Hornsby (two games), Todd Walker (two games), Heinie Zimmerman (two games) and Ben Zobrist (two games).

When Javy is hot, he’s hot. The weather is supposed to be nicer today, though there could be an afternoon lake breeze:

Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 64. Breezy, with a southwest wind 10 to 20 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.

The major-league record for home runs in three consecutive games is seven, set by Shawn Green of the Dodgers in 2002. 14 other players have hit six home runs in three consecutive games (that link is from 2015, but I don’t think anyone’s done that since then). No Cub has ever hit more than five in three straight games. That’s been done three times, by Hack Wilson in 1928, Ryne Sandberg in 1989 and Sammy Sosa in 1998.

Perhaps we’ll see some history today!

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

The Pirates lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Pirates lineup.

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Trevor Williams, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks’ numbers have been just a little bit “off” so far this year. His first start was pretty good, though with too many walks. In his second start, he cut down on the walks, but allowed nine hits in five innings.

Last year against the Pirates, he made two starts and allowed five earned runs in 11⅔ innings, though the first one was early in the season when he was still dealing with the finger injury. The second one, in September, was better.

Current Pirates are hitting .273 (35-for-128) against Kyle with three home runs. Josh Harrison (7-for-18, one HR) and Gregory Polanco (9-for-22) have hit Kyle well; all the rest of the current Pirates are hitting .218 (19-for-88) off him.

Trevor Williams made two relief appearances and two starts against the Cubs last year and posted a 4.82 ERA and 1.661 WHIP. That could bode well for the Cubs.

This year he has made two starts. In the first, he threw six no-hit innings against the Tigers, though with five walks. Then he gave up 10 hits to the Reds in 5⅓ innings. So, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Current Cubs are 17-for-60 (.283) with one home run, hit by Anthony Rizzo, who is on the DL.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Pittsburgh markets).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout. If you do go there to interact with Pirates fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. 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.

Discuss amongst yourselves.