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Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland preview, Wednesday 5/12, 12:10 CT

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The Cubs go for the series split.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Wednesday notes...

  • KB’S HITTING: Kris Bryant last night recorded his MLB-leading 14th double and 23rd extra-base hit off Cleveland’s Shane Bieber in the third inning. Just five Cubs since 1901 have had more than Bryant’s 23 extra-base hits within the team’s first 35 games: Vic Saier (27 in 1915), Rogers Hornsby (26 in 1931), Hack Wilson (25 in 1936), Billy Herman (25 in 1936) and Javier Báez (24 in 2019).
  • CUBS DH FACTS: Besides Willson Contreras, others on the active roster to have seen time at DH with the Cubs: Kris Bryant (7 games), David Bote (4), Javier Báez (3) and Anthony Rizzo (1).
  • SCORING RUNS: Cubs hitters have scored 60 runs in the last 11 games, hitting .274 (101-for-368) with 35 extra-base hits (21 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs). This followed a four-game stretch in which the club was shut out three times and hit .137 (17-for-124) with just five extra-base hits (two doubles, one triple, two homers), April 25-28.
  • BASE THEFT: The Cubs have been successful in 14 of its last 18 stolen base attempts since April 26, and the team’s 26 stolen bases are tied for third-most in the majors, surpassed only by the Padres (39) and Rangers (28).

Cubs lineup:

And here’s why Kris Bryant isn’t in today’s lineup:

Cleveland lineup:

Zach Davies, RHP vs. Sam Hentges, LHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

At last, Zach Davies put together the sort of start we’d been expecting from him in his last outing against the Pirates: seven innings, five hits, no runs. So now he has an 0.82 ERA (one earned run in 11 innings) over his last two starts. Baby steps.

Believe it or not, despite 130 starts over the last six-plus seasons, Davies has never faced Cleveland. Current members of the team are hitting a small-sample-size .364 (12-for-33) against him, though no one has faced him more than seven times.

Perhaps the unfamiliarity will help Zach, unless...

... similar unfamiliarity helps Sam Hentges. Tonight will be Hentges’ fifth MLB appearance, but first start. He was Cleveland’s fourth-round pick in 2014 out of HS in Minnesota. He’s a big dude (6-8) and per Fangraphs he relies mostly on his 95+ fastball (55.8 percent of the time), and 30 percent on his curve.

He has yet to throw more than 63 pitches in a big-league game, so if the Cubs can get to him early, Cleveland’s bullpen could come into play.

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 Cleveland market territories).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Cleveland site Covering The Corner. If you do go there to interact with Cleveland 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.