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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Wednesday 9/2, 6:05 CT

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The Cubs go for two in a row over the Bucs.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Per this forecast, there’s a chance of rain in Pittsburgh again tonight. So, here’s the local radar to keep handy:

The Cubs lead the National League in walks with 146. That’s 4.17 per game; for a 162-game schedule that would be a pace for 676 walks, which would break the franchise record (656, set in 2016). That’s good! Now get more of those baserunners home.

Other Wednesday notes:

  • HAPP-ENSTANCE: Ian Happ belted his third leadoff homer of the season then delivered a game-winning RBI single in the 11th. He’s the first Cub to hit a leadoff blast and record the game-winning RBI in extra innings since Brian McRae did so May 9, 1997 at San Francisco in a 5-3, 14-inning victory. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
  • ROAD WARRIORS: The Cubs are 12-8 at home and 9-6 on the road to join the Dodgers (12-5 at home and 15-5 on the road) and Padres (12-6 and 10-9) as the only NL clubs to have winning records both at home and on the road.
  • CUB POWER: The Cubs have hit 16 home runs in their last five games, recording at least two homers in each game. The 16 long balls are just one shy of the franchise mark in a five-game stretch, done twice: 17 homers in five games from August 9-14, 1959 and again from August 8-12, 2002. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
  • DON’T WALK: Kyle Hendricks enters having allowed two or fewer walks in each of his last 36 starts dating to April 7 of last season, and tonight could tie the franchise mark (since 1901) set by Bill Hands, who went 37 straight starts with two or fewer walks from September 11, 1967-April 13, 1969. More on Hendricks below.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

I would guess Kris Bryant is just sitting after a long extra-inning game last night.

Pirates lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Joe Musgrove, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It’s getting ridiculous for Kyle Hendricks.

Home: four starts, 2.61 ERA, 0.795 WHIP
Road: three starts, 6.61 ERA, 1.592 WHIP

Kyle’s a smart guy, Dartmouth-educated and all that. You’d think he should be able to figure this out. He has a 3.38 ERA and 1.083 WHIP in nine career starts at PNC Park, so maybe that’ll help.

Joe Musgrove is pretty much a league-average, or slightly better, starting pitcher who just loves dominating the Cubs. He has a 1.69 career ERA and 0.891 career WHIP in seven starts vs. the Cubs, his best against any team where he’s started against them more than twice.

This year, Musgrove made three starts before hitting the IL with “right tricep inflammation.” This will be his first start since August 4, and the results before that weren’t great: 6.75 ERA, 1.773 WHIP, four home runs in 14⅔ innings.

These two pitchers faced each other May 30, 2018 at PNC and Musgrove’s slide into second base caused this little kerfuffle [VIDEO].

The Pirates won that game, though Hendricks had a decent outing (five innings, two runs). I’d take another one of those, if The Professor could tack another inning or two on to it.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here is a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

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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.