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Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies preview, Friday 8/31, 6:05 CT

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The Cubs open a weekend set with the Phillies.

Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

There is a chance of rain in the Philadelphia area tonight, so as is my practice with such a forecast, here’s the local radar:

Friday notes:

  • The Cubs are 18-9 in August with one game remaining, tonight. Since the start of 2015, the Cubs have a 76-36 (.679) overall record in August, 40 games over .500 and tops in the majors, ahead of the Cardinals (69-41, .627) and Red Sox (68-42, .618).
  • The Cubs have at least 17 wins in August for the fourth year in a row. The only other time in franchise history that the Cubs won 17 or more games in August in four straight seasons was from 1929-32.
  • Thursday marked the Cubs’ 43rd come-from-behind victory this season, the most in the majors. The Red Sox are second with 41 and the Rockies third with 36. The Cubs are also 12-3 in their last 15 games decided by one run.
  • For the last 20 seasons starting in 1999, Tommy La Stella is one of only 14 players to reach 20 pinch-hits in a single season. La Stella leads the majors in pinch hits and pinch-hit RBI (11) this season.
  • Daniel Murphy is the first position player to have the Cubs win each of his first eight career games with the team (minimum one plate appearance per game) in franchise history. (H/T: STATS Inc.)

This is cool:

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

The Cubs will apparently play a man short tonight with Jason Heyward likely unavailable:

Phillies lineup:

Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Nick Pivetta, RHP

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

Good starts, bad starts, good starts, bad starts... it’s like a pendulum swinging, one side to the other, watching Jose Quintana pitch. Which side do we get tonight?

His last two starts have been decent: three runs in 10 innings. But then, that’s not so great either, only five innings per start, plus five walks.

It’s really frustrating because Q does have talent and can put together four or five really good innings, then one bad one ruins his outing.

Q threw 5⅔ decent innings against the Phillies June 6 at Wrigley Field. That included allowing only three hits, with 10 strikeouts. The bullpen blew the lead — that was the game Jason Heyward won with his walkoff slam.

Nick Pivetta got off to a decent start this year, but since June 1 he has struggled to a 5.88 ERA and 1.449 WHIP, with 15 home runs in 78 innings over 16 appearances (15 starts).

One of those starts was against the Cubs June 7 at Wrigley Field. He allowed six hits and four runs in five innings, including a home run by Anthony Rizzo.

He was roughed up in his last two starts by the Mets and Blue Jays: 11 earned runs in 10⅓ innings. Here’s hoping the Cubs rough him up tonight.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago Plus. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Philadelphia 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 Phillies site The Good Phight. If you do go there to interact with Phillies 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.