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Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins preview, Saturday 9/19, 7:15 CT

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The Cubs are going for their sixth win in a row.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Today’s roster move: Here

Saturday notes:

  • HITLESS WONDERS: The Cubs, with three hits last night against the Twins, have now won six games when collecting four or fewer hits. No other club has more than four such wins this season.
  • A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW: Of the last six Cubs pitchers to throw no-hitters, all of them allowed a hit within the first three batters in their next outing. The last Cubs pitcher to record even a hitless inning in his first game immediately following a no-no was Ken Holtzman, August 23, 1969 vs. the Astros (allowed his first hit with one out in the third inning).
  • FOR STARTERS: Cubs starting pitchers have produced a 1.76 ERA (13 earned runs in 66⅓ innings) in 10 games since September 7, holding opponents to a .181 average (41-for-227) and walking 16 while striking out 59. The 1.76 ERA is the best in the majors during this span
  • AND RELIEVERS: The Cubs bullpen has posted a 2.08 ERA (15 earned runs in 65 innings) in the team’s last 21 games dating to August 28, holding opponents to a .176 average (39-for-222) and a .550 OPS. The .176 average and .550 OPS are the second-best marks in the majors during this span, and in these games Cubs relievers have walked 32 and struck out 79.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Twins lineup:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Michael Pineda, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Mills threw a no-hitter Sunday, as you know. That’s a hard act to follow!

Mills has actually thrown pretty well in most of his starts, despite the results overall only being about average. He’s had some runs score accounted to his record after he left ballgames, so his ERA might be lower than 3.93. He’s gone at least six innings in six of his nine starts.

Mills has never faced the Twins or anyone on their roster. Hopefully, that will be to his advantage.

Michael Pineda missed the first 36 games of this season due to a suspension last year, carried over, for using a banned diuretic.

He’s made three starts this year, two pretty good, the other, not so much. He’s faced the Cubs twice in his career, most recently May 5, 2017 when he allowed them three hits and two runs in six innings, both solo homers (Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber). Pineda was with the Yankees then.

Seems like he’s been around forever — he debuted with the Mariners in 2011 — but he missed three full years with injuries. He’s still only 31.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. It’s also on ESPN+ (subscribers only, outside Cubs and Twins market territories).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Twins site Twinkie Town. If you do go there to interact with Twins 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.