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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Friday 8/16, 6:05 CT

Maybe tonight.

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Today’s Cubs roster moves: Here

Happy 33rd birthday, Yu Darvish!

Friday notes:

  • The Cubs are 27-23 within the N.L. Central division this year, a .540 winning percentage. They are 19-5 vs. N.L. Central opponents at home but are 8-18 against N.L. Central clubs on the road. Of the Cubs’ 41 remaining games, 26 are against N.L. Central opponents, 13 at Wrigley Field and 13 on the road.
  • Victor Caratini last night picked off Logan Morrison at first base, his third catcher pickoff this season. That’s tied for the most in the N.L. with Yan Gomes and tied for second-most in the majors (Christian Vazquez, 4). Since the start of 2016, Cubs catchers have recorded 27 pickoffs, by far the most in the majors. Milwaukee is second with 13.
  • The Cubs this season have hit 190 home runs, tied for third-most in the N.L. with Milwaukee and trailing only the Dodgers (211) and Braves (197). They are on pace for 254 home runs, which would break the franchise record of 235 set in 2004.
  • Nicholas Castellanos, acquired at the trade deadline from the Tigers, has hit safely in 13 of his first 14 games as a Cub, batting .386/.435/.772 (22-for-57) with seven doubles, five homers and seven RBI. He leads the major leagues with 44 doubles, two short of his career high of 46, set last year.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Joe Musgrove, RHP

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

These two pitchers matched up July 2 at PNC Park. There was a long rain delay after the third inning, and neither Kyle Hendricks nor Joe Musgrove returned after the delay.

Hendricks was making his first start coming off the injured list that night and allowed four hits and two runs. Musgrove allowed just one hit.

After that game, Hendricks put together a six-start run where he posted a 2.04 ERA, 0.934 WHIP and .177 opponents BA, before he got hit hard by the Reds in his last outing. Hopefully, that was a one-off and he gets back on track tonight.

Musgrove has not been good at all since that outing. In his last seven starts he has a 6.19 ERA, 1.376 WHIP and has allowed 10 home runs in 36⅓ innings. Current Cubs, though, have not hit him well: 12-for-80 (.150). Kris Bryant has homered off him.

Today’s game is on WGN.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.