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Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins preview, Wednesday 9/22, 6:40 CT

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The Cubs look for a split with the Twins in their final interleague game of 2021.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Wednesday notes...

  • STRIKEOUT WATCH: The Cubs have 1,502 strikeouts by batters this year. That’s 17 short of breaking the franchise record (1,518 in 2015). If the record doesn’t fall tonight, it will almost certainly happen in Game 1 against the Cardinals Friday. Also, that total is 94 short of breaking the MLB record (1,595, set by the 2019 Tigers). Since the trade-deadline selloff (in other words, with basically the current team), the Cubs are averaging 10.81 strikeouts per game. If they maintain that average, the MLB record will fall Friday, October 1 in St. Louis. The season total of 1,502 strikeouts leads MLB by 47 (the Marlins are second at 1,455).
  • INTERLEAGUE INFO: The Cubs are 6-13 in interleague play this season. Tonight’s game wraps up the Cubs’ interleague schedule for 2021 and marks the first time they will have a sub-.500 interleague record since they went 9-11 against AL teams in 2014.
  • SCHWINDY CITY UPDATE: Frank Schwindel’s single Tuesday gave him a 10-game hitting streak in which he’s batting .378/.417/.689 (17-for-49) with five doubles, three home runs and nine runs scored. Frank the Tank’s streak is tied (with Matt Duffy, August 10-18) for the second-longest hitting streak by a Cub this year. Longest: Kris Bryant, 13 games (May 17-31).
  • JUST ONE MORE: Trayce Thompson’s homer Sunday in Milwaukee gave the Cubs 21 players who have hit at least one homer this season. That’s one short of the franchise record: 22 players homered for the Cubs in 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2013. Apart from pitchers (no Cubs pitcher has homered this year), two position players on the current active roster have not homered in 2021: Nico Hoerner and Nick Martini. That gives the 2021 Cubs a chance to tie or break that mark.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Twins lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Joe Ryan, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Kyle Hendricks should have three starts remaining this year: Tonight, plus one in each of the series against the Cardinals. I am hoping for three strong starts from Kyle so he can end the year on a positive note.

Kyle last faced the Twins September 18, 2020 at Wrigley Field and it was one of his best starts last year: eight innings, three hits, no runs, 10 strikeouts. Another one just like that tonight would be great.

Statcast

Joe Ryan made his MLB debut against the Cubs September 1 at Target Field and the Cubs scored three runs off him in five innings, enough for a win.

Since then Ryan has been lights-out in two starts against Cleveland: 0.75 ERA, 0.417 WHIP, .100 opponents BA, nine strikeouts in 12 innings.

Let’s hope that’s just Cleveland and that Cubs hitters can remember what they did against Ryan three weeks ago. Frank Schwindel homered off him in that game, another one or two like that would be great.

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.