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Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians preview, Wednesday 9/16, 7:15 CT

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The Cubs go for their fourth consecutive win.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Wednesday notes:

  • GOOD FOR YU: In last night’s third inning, the Indians scored two runs both originally ruled as earned. The official scorer has changed this to one run earned, one unearned which adjusts Yu Darvish’s season ERA to 1.86. It had originally been reported as 2.00 after the game.
  • SURGING AHEAD: The Cubs have a five-game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central Division, the second-largest lead in any division. The Athletics have the only larger current lead, 5½ games over the Astros in the NL West.
  • QUITE THE CAREER: Jon Lester’s 192 career wins are most among active left-handed pitchers, ahead of Clayton Kershaw’s 174 victories. Lester’s 2,392 strikeouts are third among active lefties, trailing only Cole Hamels (2,558) and Kershaw (2,517). More on Lester below.
  • THE BATS COME ALIVE: Starting with Saturday’s ninth inning in Milwaukee, the Cubs have hit .325 (25-for-77) with 22 runs in their last 18 innings at the plate, including seven hits in 16 at-bats (.438) with runners in scoring position.
  • PLOINK: The Cubs last night were hit by a pitch four times, including consecutive batters to end the game in a walk-off win, the first time that’s happened at Wrigley Field since the first game of a doubleheader July 18, 1948 vs. the Phillies when Robin Roberts hit Phil Cavarretta to load the bases, then hit Andy Pafko to force home the winning run in a 3-2 victory. (H/T: Ed Hartig)

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Indians lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Aaron Civale, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester had five starts in a row where he had been pretty bad, but righted his ship with six shutout innings against the Brewers last Friday in Milwaukee.

He also had a strong outing against the Indians August 11 in Cleveland — six innings, three hits, one run, four strikeouts.

So that should be good enough for another good start for Jon tonight, right?

Well, you know baseball doesn’t work that way. Still, Lester has throughout his career saved some of his best efforts for pennant races and the postseason. I think he’s got one more year’s worth of those left.

Aaron Civale has had a pretty good year overall for the Tribe, though over his last four starts: 5.25 ERA, 1.417 WHIP, four home runs allowed in 24 innings.

Civale has never faced the Cubs. The only Cub who’s ever faced him is Cameron Maybin (1-for-5). Per Fangraphs Civale relies mostly on fastballs and cutters and has an average FB velocity of 91.8 miles per hour this year, down slightly from 92.6 last year.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Indians site Let’s Go Tribe. If you do go there to interact with Indians 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 2020 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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week/Date) game threads.” It will contain every thread related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

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.