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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Thursday 4/8, 12:35 CT

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The Cubs play their first road series of 2021.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Notes for the Cubs’ first road game of 2021:

  • VISITING PNC: The Cubs today take part in the Pirates’ home opener for the first time since 2014 (a 1‐0 Pirates win). Prior to that, the Cubs were the Pirates’ home opening opponent in 2013 (a 3‐1 Cubs win) and 2008 (a 10‐8 Cubs win).
  • ROAD WARRIORS: In 2020, the Cubs averaged over two runs more per game on the road than at home, scoring an average of 5.59 runs per road contest compared to 3.45 runs per game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs’ .744 road OPS last year was 75 points higher than their .669 home OPS.
  • PITTSBURGH-AREA NATIVE: Ian Happ has reached base safely in each of his last 13 road games dating to the nightcap of a doubleheader in Cincinnati on August 29, 2020, batting .296 (16‐for‐54) during this streak.
  • WILLSON!: In his last 20 games at PNC Park since June 18, 2017, Willson Contreras has batted .351/.448/.568 (26‐for‐74) with eight doubles, a triple, two homers and 11 RBI.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Jake Arrieta, RHP vs. Tyler Anderson, LHP

MLB Photos via Getty Images
MLB Photos via Getty Images

This is a pitching rematch of last Saturday’s game at Wrigley Field.

Jake Arrieta threw six strong innings, allowing six hits and one run, with five strikeouts.

The Cubs had five hits and three runs off Tyler Anderson in five innings, including a home run by Kris Bryant.

The Cubs won the game 5-1.

I’ll take another one just like that, please.

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 MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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.