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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Thursday 9/2, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs go for three straight wins for the first time since June.

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Thursday notes:

A BIT OF HISTORY: Today is the 49th anniversary of Milt Pappas’ no-hitter against the Padres. It’s still the last no-hitter thrown by a Cubs pitcher at Wrigley Field. Here’s how he lost a perfect game with two out in the ninth, followed by the final out:

NERVES OF STEELE: Wednesday night, Justin Steele became the first Cubs rookie pitcher to have a start of at least five innings with no runs and one or fewer hits allowed since Sean Marshall on May 17, 2006 vs. Washington. Before Marshall, the last Cub to do thatt was Kerry Wood on May 6, 1998, in his 20-strikeout game against the Houston Astros.

FRANK THE TANK: Frank Schwindel Wednesday night became the fourth Cub this season to homer in three consecutive games. The others: Anthony Rizzo (July 25-27), Joc Pederson (June 9-12) and Willson Contreras (April 13-17).

J-HEY UPDATE: Jason Heyward is on a seven-game hitting streak in which he is batting .435/.458/.522 (10-for-23) with two doubles and four runs scored. His season OPS has gone from .579 to .609 during the streak.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Also of interest for this series:

Keegan Thompson, RHP vs. Mitch Keller, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Keegan Thompson has made two MLB starts since being stretched out to start at Triple-A Iowa. One was decent, the other not so much.

Thompson made a couple of relief appearances against the Pirates earlier this year, but they’ve changed personnel enough that current Bucs are just 1-for-5 against him, a small sample size that probably means nothing.

Hopefully the unfamiliarity will help Thompson tonight.

Statcast

Mitch Keller made two starts against the Cubs in April but, as you know, most of those guys are gone now. Ian Happ is 5-for-9 against Keller with two home runs, so there’s that.

He was demoted to Triple-A after posting a 7.04 ERA in 12 starts through mid-June. Returning to Pittsburgh at the beginning of August, the results last month weren’t much better: five starts, 6.20 ERA, 1.824 WHIP, .364 opponents BA.

Hopefully Cubs hitters will take advantage of that tonight.

Statcast

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 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.