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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Saturday 4/17, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs, once again, will try to score some runs.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

I’ve been posting some positive team notes in these previews. Today, I’m going to try something different.

Remember when I said just before Opening Day that I had a sort of 1973 Cubs vibe around this year’s team?

Well, the 2021 Cubs have not scored more than five runs in any game, 13 games now.

That’s not anywhere close to the franchise record, which is 23 straight games of five runs or fewer.

Guess when that happened? Yep, 1973, July 28 through August 19. The Cubs went 6-17 in that 23-game stretch. Yikes. That team got outscored 77-58 during that stretch. As you can see, the pitching wasn’t too bad (allowing just 3.35 runs per game), but the offense basically died (2.52 runs per game). Though they had started the year 48-33 with an 8½-game lead, that horrid 23-game span put them basically out of contention.

The single-season record for any team doing this is 40 games, set by the 1971 Phillies (they went 15-25 and eventually lost 95 games), tied by the 1979 Mets (they went 7-33 and eventually lost 99 games).

Also, in case you were wondering, the Cubs are on a streak of nine games in which they have scored four runs or fewer. The franchise record for such things is 20, set in 1979.

Lastly, the 2021 Cubs are 4-0 when scoring four or more runs, 1-8 when scoring three or fewer. Those numbers should not surprise you.

I still don’t think the 2021 Cubs are that bad. But they had better start hitting right now to prove me wrong.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Sigh. Same old lineup.

Braves lineup:

Trevor Williams, RHP vs. Huascar Ynoa, LHP

MLB Photos via Getty Images
MLB Photos via Getty Images

Trevor Williams has made two starts this year. One was really good, the other not so much.

I’m hoping that the “not so much” was Williams being a bit over-amped facing his old team in his old home park. He threw very well at Wrigley Field.

The last time he faced the Braves was August 22, 2018 and he had a strong outing: six innings, two hits, one run. I’ll take another one of those, please.

Huascar Ynoa has made three appearances this year (two starts) and thrown very well, allowing just six hits and two walks with 15 strikeouts over 12 innings.

Per Fangraphs he relies almost exclusively on a fastball (average 95.7 miles per hour over his MLB career) and slider.

He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the Cubs active roster.

Sounds like exactly the kind of guy the Cubs hate to face.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s 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 Braves site Talking Chop. If you do go there to interact with Braves 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.