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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Tuesday 9/25, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs look to even up their series against the Bucs.

Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Again, as the Cubs enter their final six games of the regular season it’s important to take note of this chart (H/T again to BCBer interbret):

The meaning is quite simple. If the Cubs win the rest of their games, or even five of them... neither the Brewers nor Cardinals can do anything about it and the Cubs will be N.L. Central champions. The Cubs have won at least five games in a row on four separate occasions this year.

It would be a good thing to start a streak like that tonight.

Tonight’s weather forecast does look a bit dicey and there’s a chance of thunderstorms in the evening, though it does appear that the game is likely to start on time. If that happens, I’d expect the Cubs to wait out delays and finish at 1 a.m. if they have to.

As is my usual procedure for days like this, here’s the Chicago-area radar for your convenience.

Notes:

  • The Cubs have now scored one run in five straight games against the Pirates starting with their four-game series last month in Pittsburgh. This is only the second time in franchise history that the Cubs have scored exactly one run in five consecutive games against any team. The other time: August 27-29 and September 5-6, 1934 against the Giants. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
  • Taking this one step further, the Cubs played six straight games of scoring the same number of runs vs. an opponent just once in franchise history. They scored five runs each game against the Montreal Expos in a six-game run from 1971-72 (September 29-30, 1971 and May 26-29, 1972). Let’s hope this five-game streak against the Pirates ends tonight.

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.

Mike Montgomery, LHP vs. Chris Archer, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs have been carefully managing Mike Montgomery’s innings and it appears to be working. After not finishing the fifth inning in any of his first three starts coming off the disabled list, Montgomery put together a fine six-inning, four-hit, one-run, eight-strikeout (season high) start against the Diamondbacks last week.

Montgomery has also made two excellent starts against the Pirates this year, one at PNC Park, one in Wrigley Field, allowing nine hits and one run in 11⅔ total innings. Current Pirates are hitting .243 (17-for-70) against Montgomery.

Chris Archer. Former Cubs minor leaguer who many Cubs fans wanted to see them reacquire from the Rays when he was on the trading block this summer.

Good thing that didn’t happen, because his nine starts since he was traded to the Pirates have been mostly bad — 4.86 ERA, 1.403 WHIP, eight home runs in 46⅓ innings. He did have a good start in his last outing (seven innings, one run), but that was against the 100+ loss Royals.

Archer made two starts against the Cubs last year and allowed 12 hits, four walks and five runs in 12 innings. Kyle Schwarber homered off him at the Trop. Current Cubs are 15-for-47 (.319) against him

Today’s game is on WGN. 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.