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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Sunday 9/16, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for the sweep. Could we have some offense, please?

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday notes:

  • The two wins in this series give Joe Maddon 379 wins with the Cubs, a franchise mark for most wins in a manager’s first four seasons. That passes Frank Chance, whose Cubs squads recorded 377 regular season victories in his first four seasons as manager, 1905-08 (Chance managed the final 88 games of 1905, taking over for Frank Selee, to begin his managerial career).
  • This is day 27 of the Cubs’ 30 consecutive days without an off day (29 games), and they’re 16-9 in the first 25 games (26 days).
  • Cubs starting pitchers have a 2.58 ERA over the team’s last 28 games (46 earned runs in 160⅓ innings), best in the major leagues over that span.
  • Cubs relievers have a 3.33 ERA (200 earned runs in 540 innings) this season, best in the National League.
  • The Cubs have won seven straight games against the Reds and outscored them 47-23 in those seven contests.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Luis Castillo, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, Jose Quintana has begun to pitch like we hoped he would when he was acquired last summer. Last five starts: 1.84 ERA, 1.045 WHIP, no home runs in 29⅓ innings.

He’s made three starts against the Reds this year and has a decent 3.18 ERA and 1.471 WHIP, but I want to call particular attention to his first outing this year against them, the second game of a doubleheader May 19 in Cincinnati — seven one-hit innings.

The way the pitching staff has responded recently... is it too much to ask for another one of those?

Luis Castillo was originally going to go Monday vs. the Brewers, but the Reds moved him up to Sunday since they had Thursday off, to keep him on his normal five-day schedule.

Castillo had a rough August, including getting hammered by Cubs hitters August 25 at Wrigley Field for five runs in 3⅓ innings. That included home runs by Daniel Murphy and Kyle Schwarber. He’s been much better in September, with a 1.50 ERA and 0.778 WHIP and three walks and 27 strikeouts in 18 innings.

He has a 6.00 ERA and 1.667 WHIP in three starts vs. the Cubs this year and current Cubs are hitting .298 (25-for-84) against him with eight doubles, three home runs and 12 walks.

Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago.

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 Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds 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.