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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Sunday 4/11, 12:05 CT

The Cubs go for the series win in Pittsburgh.

Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Happy 51st birthday to Cubs TV play-by-play voice Boog Sciambi!

Not-so-fun fact:

Sunday notes:

  • CRAIG KIMBREL’S HOT STREAK: In his last 12 outings dating to September 3, 2020, Kimbrel has thrown 12 shutout innings, allowing three hits while walking none and striking out 22, good for an average of 16.50 strikeouts per nine innings and an 0.250 WHIP. He’s held opponents to an .079 average (3‐for‐38) and a .158 OPS.
  • KB’S GREAT START: Kris Bryant has posted a .375 on‐base percentage, a .630 slugging mark and a 1.005 OPS through his first eight games, collecting four doubles, two homers and four RBI.
  • MORE BRYANT: Bryant is hitting .355 (55‐for‐155) with a .444 OBP and a 1.006 OPS in 40 games at PNC Park. Bryant’s 1.076 career OPS against the Pirates ranks third all‐time (min. 300 PA) behind only Barry Bonds (1.127) and Albert Pujols (1.113).
  • MORE PNC: In his last 22 games at PNC Park since June 18, 2017, Willson Contreras has batted .341/.432/.537 (28‐for‐82) with eight doubles, a triple, two homers, 11 RBI, good for a .968 OPS.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Trevor Williams, RHP vs. JT Brubaker, RHP

MLB Photos via Getty Images
MLB Photos via Getty Images

The one thing I hope for Trevor Williams this afternoon is that he doesn’t get over-amped facing his former team. If he stays within himself and pitches the way he did against the Brewers last week, good things will follow.

Williams has faced just two current members of the Pirates, and the only one of those two who has more than one AB against him is Wilmer Difo (2-for-5).

JT Brubaker had a very good start against the Reds last week. I say “very good” because he allowed only one run in four innings — and the Reds were pretty much pounding every pitcher they saw while facing the Pirates. So, good for him.

Brubaker faced the Cubs three times (two starts) in the 60-game 2020 season and posted a 1.84 ERA and 1.023 WHIP. Current Cubs are 5-for-40 (.125) against him with 12 strikeouts.

Brubaker has talent. This game will not be an easy one for the Cubs.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Pirates market territories).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout. If you do go there to interact with Pirates 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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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 post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, 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 the overflow thread 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 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.