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Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins preview, Tuesday 9/21, 6:40 CT

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The Cubs begin their final homestand of 2021 with a two-game set vs. an AL Central club.

Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Tuesday notes...

  • STRIKEOUT WATCH: The Cubs have struck out 1,488 times this year. They need 31 more to break the franchise record (1,518, set in 2015). Since the selloff (meaning, with basically the current roster) they have averaged 10.74 strikeouts per game. If they keep up that average they will break the franchise record in Friday’s first game, and will break the MLB record (1,595, set by the 2019 Tigers) Friday, October 1 in St. Louis. The 1,488 K’s lead MLB by 50 (the Marlins are second with 1,438).
  • SCHWINDY CITY UPDATE: In Frank Schwindel’s current nine-game hitting streak, he is batting .390/.419/.707 (16-for-41) with four doubles and three home runs, and during the streak he has six multi-hit games. For September: .392/.430/.730 (29-for-74) with four doubles, seven home runs, 15 runs and only eight strikeouts.
  • WORDS OF WISDOM: If Patrick Wisdom hits three more home runs this year without getting to 400 plate appearances (he has 353), he’d become just the fifth player in MLB history to hit 30 or more home runs in fewer than 400 PA. The other five: Kevin Mitchell (30 in 380 PA in 1994), Mark McGwire (32 in 321 PA in 2000), Tony Clark (30 in 393 PA in 2005) and Mitch Garver (31 in 359 PA in 2019). One other player in 2021, Mike Zunino of the Rays, has a chance to do this; he currently has 31 HR in 351 PA. CHECK THIS, RAYS PLAY MONDAY
  • RIVAS REGAL: Alfonso Rivas, last seven games: .364/.417/.500 (8-for-22), one home run. He’s looked really good at the plate since he took over in right field for the injured Jason Heyward. Going back a bit further, last 13 games: .387/.441/.484 (12-for-35), five runs scored.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Twins lineup:

Also of interest for this series (time listed is ET):

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Griffin Jax, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Mills has a 4.07 ERA and 1.320 WHIP as a starter in 2021, in 17 starts covering 86⅓ innings. That’s perfectly suitable for a fifth starter, which is what I hope he will be in 2022.

Mills faced the Twins last year, September 19, 2020 at Wrigley Field. He threw six strong innings, then allowed a home run and double leading off the seventh. Does this sound familiar?

Hopefully, this time the Cubs get him out of the game before he runs out of gas.

Statcast

Griffin Jax. The name reminds me of a Star Trek character... oh, wait. That’s “Dax,” not “Jax.”

Anyway, Jax was the Twins’ third-round pick in 2016, and made his MLB debut this year. The results have ... not been good, especially recently. Last five starts: 9.36 ERA, 1.640 WHIP, eight HR in 25 innings.

That should be good news for Cubs hitters. On the other hand, Jax has never faced the Cubs or anyone on their active roster, and you know what usually follows. Hopefully, not 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 Twins site Twinkie Town. If you do go there to interact with Twins 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.