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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Wednesday 9/9, 7:15 CT

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The Cubs go for their third straight win.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Today is Roberto Clemente Day across baseball; MLB teams will honor the legacy of the Pirates great, a native of Puerto Rico.

In tribute, the Cubs’ two Puerto Rican players, Javier Baez and Victor Caratini, will wear Clemente’s No. 2. Javy told Tribune beat writer Mark Gonzales:

“Wearing No. 21 is going to be a big thing,” Baez said. “Bigger than people think.”

The Roberto Clemente Award was established to honor the player who best represents baseball on and off the field through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions. Jason Heyward is the Cubs’ nominee for 2020.

All players in games today will wear a “21” sleeve patch.

Wednesday notes:

  • RUN-SCORING: The Cubs one of four clubs to have scored in every one of their games this season. The only other clubs not to have been shut out thus far: the Dodgers, Red Sox and Rangers. Recent Cubs seasons, being shut out through 43 games: 2019, 3; 2018, 3; 2017, 3; 2016, 2; 2015, 2.
  • EVERYONE LOVES YU: In his last seven starts (all wins), Yu Darvish has a 0.98 ERA (five earned runs in 46 innings). He’s walked eight and struck out 58 in that stretch, limiting opponents to a .186 average (30-for-161) with a .229 on-base percentage, a .261 slugging mark and a .490 OPS. More on Darvish below.
  • THIRTYSOMETHING: New Cubs outfielder Billy Hamilton turns 30 today. Happy birthday!
  • STREAKING: Willson Contreras, last eight games: .429/.500/.571 (12-for-28) with a home run, three walks, seven RBI and eight runs scored.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jason Heyward is back in tonight’s lineup:

And here’s why Kris Bryant is NOT in tonight’s lineup:

Reds lineup:

Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Trevor Bauer, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There really aren’t too many more superlatives I can write about Yu Darvish’s 2020 season. He’s just been outstanding and is probably now the leading contender for the NL Cy Young Award.

I recommend this article by Matt Kelly of MLB.com published today which details how Darvish has improved the effectiveness of his four-seam fastball.

Darvish and Trevor Bauer faced each other in the first game of a doubleheader August 29 in Cincinnati. Darvish threw six shutout innings and struck out eight. I’d take another one of those tonight.

In that August 29 game, Anthony Rizzo got to Bauer — twice — with home runs, both solo shots. (Incidentally, all nine of Rizzo’s homers so far this year have been with the bases empty.)

Bauer’s only start since then was September 4 vs. the Pirates. He allowed four runs in six innings, though only one was earned.

This should be a good pitcher’s duel, with cool conditions expected tonight with the wind blowing in again, as it did Tuesday.

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 Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds 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.