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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Saturday 9/4, 1:20 CT

The Cubs go for five wins in a row!

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Today's roster move: Here

Saturday notes:

  • ROOKIES: Frank Schwindel has been named NL Rookie of the Month for August. He’s the second Cub to do so this year; Patrick Wisdom earned the honor for June. They’re the first NL teammates to earn Rookie of the Month honors in the same season since 2017 when the Cardinals’ Paul DeJong (July) and Jose Martinez (September) did so.
  • WORDS OF WISDOM: Patrick Wisdom’s 25 home runs (in 271 AB) this season tops all NL rookies and he’s tied for second among all rookies with Ryan Mountcastle (428 AB), four behind Adolis Garcia (29 HR in 476 AB). Wisdom’s .866 OPS leads all rookies (minimum 275 PA), ahead of Cincinnati’s Jonathan India (.837).
  • ADBERT NOTE: Adbert Alzolay’s four-inning save without allowing a run Thursday was the first such save by a Cubs rookie since Paul Reuschel on June 13, 1976. Also, Alzolay is the first Cub with at least 20 starts and a save in the same season since Mike Bielecki in 1990 (H/T: Ed Hartig).
  • BEATING THE BUCS: The Cubs’ win Friday gave them a 10-4 record against Pittsburgh this year, clinching the season series. It’s the seventh straight year the Cubs have won the season series against the Pirates, and entering Saturday’s action they are 71-46 against Pittsburgh, including 38-18 at Wrigley Field.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

The Pirates lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Pirates lineup.

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. TBD


Kyle Hendricks had a rough go of it in August: 7.81 ERA, 1.663 WHIP, six home runs in 27⅔ innings.

In fact, Kyle’s season splits up this way:

May through July: 17 starts, 2.89 ERA, 1.170 WHIP, 12 HR in 106 innings
Months beginning with “A”: 10 starts, 7.69 ERA, 1.709 WHIP, 16 HR in 50⅓ innings

I am not being serious here. I know you can’t really do that, but... that sure is weird. He was awful, then very good, then awful again.

In fact, he’s been pretty awful against the Pirates this year: 6.00 ERA, 1.533 WHIP in three starts covering 15 innings, with four HR allowed.

Hopefully, today is better. It would be nice to see Kyle end the season on a high note.


The Pirates named today’s starter too late for me to put together some comments on him for this preview.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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.