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Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox preview, Saturday 5/12, 1:20 CT

The Cubs go for their fifth straight win.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Sigh. Once again, you’ll need this today:


  • The Cubs now have eight games with 10 or more runs scored. Last year, they had 18 for the entire season, and in 2016 had 10 such games. They’ve also scored 10+ runs three times in their last four games. Last time this happened to a Cubs team: April 15, 16 and 18, 2004 — and they lost the last one of those 11-10.
  • The Cubs have won 10 of their last 12 home games. In that span, Cubs pitching has posted a 2.17 ERA and .184 batting average against.
  • Brian Duensing has thrown 12 innings without allowing a run this year, the only qualifying reliever in the major leagues who hasn’t given up a run.
  • More bullpen: Dating to last season, Brandon Morrow’s 63⅔ straight innings without allowing a homer is the longest active streak in the majors, while Steve Cishek ranks third with a streak of 43⅔ straight homerless innings.
  • Cubs pinch-hitters this year are hitting .378/.451/.556 (17-for-45) with five doubles, a home run, six walks and 12 RBI. The PH BA leads the National League.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

White Sox lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. James Shields, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Fun fact: Jon Lester and James Shields were the opposing starters in the 2014 American League Wild Card Game, when Lester was with the Athletics and Shields with the Royals, and that was the last time these two pitchers faced each other.

That’s really the game in which Lester got the reputation as someone who couldn’t hold runners, because the Royals ran like crazy on him, three stolen bases, two of them in the key eighth inning when K.C. scored three runs and turned a 7-3 game that Lester seemed to have under control into a close game. The Royals eventually won and went to the World Series and Lester wound up with the Cubs.

Lester’s gotten somewhat better at holding and picking off runners since then. His last start against the White Sox, July 27, 2016 at that park on the South Side, was good: seven innings, two runs. Jon has a 1.88 ERA and 1.125 WHIP over his last four starts with a .198 opponents BA.

James Shields. He’s like the nursery rhyme girl who, when good, is “very, very good,” but when bad is “horrid.” Shields has made seven starts this year. Three are “very, very good,” three are “meh” and one is “horrid.” As a member of the White Sox he has a 5.86 ERA, 1.533 WHIP and 6.07 FIP in 51 appearances (50 starts), which is “Edwin Jackson as a Cub” territory.

On July 26, 2016 he threw 7⅔ shutout innings against the Cubs. Exactly one year later, the Cubs got five hits and five runs off him in four innings.

In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago with Len & JD. The White Sox broadcast is on NBC Sports Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation White Sox site South Side Sox. If you do go there to interact with White Sox 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.