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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Friday 9/4, 7:15 CT

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The Cubs open an important five-game series against their division rivals.

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Friday notes:

  • HOME vs. ROAD: The Cubs are hitting 40 points higher on the road (.250) than at home (.210), and their .790 road OPS is 79 points higher than their .711 home OPS. But, the Cubs have a 5.10 ERA (82 earned runs in 144⅔ innings) on the road and a 3.86 ERA (75 earned runs in 175 innings) at Wrigley Field.
  • PITCHING: Cubs pitching has held left-handed batters to a .218 average (132-for-606) and a .297 OBP.
  • HITTING LATE: The Cubs’ 24 ninth-inning runs are the most in the majors, just ahead of the Diamondbacks (23) and White Sox (21). The Cubs’ .316 average (30-for-95) and .394 OBP in the ninth inning are also tops in MLB.
  • PATIENCE!: Cubs hitters have averaged 4.17 pitches per plate appearance, tops in the majors ahead of the Indians (4.13), Rays (4.07) and Athletics (4.07). Thanks in part to seeing so many pitches, Cubs hitters rank first in the N.L. with 152 walks. That’s 4.11 walks per game, a pace for 665 in a 162-game season, which would break the franchise record (656, set in 2016).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Explanation of why Ian Happ is out tonight: Here

The Cardinals lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Cardinals lineup.

Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Jack Flaherty, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish. Ace. Pitcher of the Month. Can’t say too many great things about him for his 2020 season.

He threw six solid innings against St. Louis August 18 at Wrigley Field, allowing one run with seven strikeouts. In his two starts since then: 13 innings, 13 hits, one run, three walks, 18 strikeouts, ridiculous pitches like this:

Keep up the good work, Yu.

When Jack Flaherty faced the Cubs in the first game of a doubleheader August 19 at Wrigley Field, he hadn’t pitched in four weeks due to the Cardinals’ COVID-19 hiatus, and so he didn’t make it out of the second inning.

Since then he’s ramped up his pitch count, 64 pitches, then 83, in throwing five innings in each of two starts. Total in those two starts: 10 innings, four hits, one run, two walks, eight strikeouts.

Flaherty is good. This will be a tough game for Cubs hitters. I’m glad Darvish is his opponent tonight.

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

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos. If you do go there to interact with Cardinals 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.