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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Wednesday 9/8, 6:40 CT

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The Cubs go for a series win over the visitors from Cincinnati.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s roster move: Here

Wednesday notes...

  • HAPP-ENINGS: Ian Happ, last 23 games since August 13: 376/.411/.776 (32-for-85) with seven doubles, nine home runs and 15 runs. His season OPS has gone from .599 to .725 in that span and he is now in positive bWAR territory at 1.0. Happ has eight multi-hit games in that 23-game span, including four of the last six. Lastly, he’s got an eight-game hitting streak in which he’s batting .429 (15-for-35) with four home runs.
  • HOME RUN NOTES: The Cubs’ three homers Tuesday gave them 184 for the season. That projects to 213 for the season, which would be fourth-most in franchise history, one ahead of 1998 (212). Also, the Cubs have homered in 14-straight games dating to Game 1 of the doubleheader on August 25, the longest active streak in the National League.
  • MORE DINGER NEWS: The Cubs have nine players in double figures in home runs this year: current players Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Rafael Ortega, Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom and the departed Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson and Anthony Rizzo. Two more Cubs, David Bote (eight) and Jason Heyward (seven), have a chance to get to 10 home runs before the end of the season.
  • STRIKEOUT UPDATE: The Cubs struck out 10 times Tuesday, bringing their season total to 1,382. They have struck out at least 10 times in 23 of the 36 games since the selloff, and in those 36 games have averaged 10.78 strikeouts per game. If they keep up that average, they will break the franchise record for Ks (1,518, set in 2015) in the first game of the doubleheader September 24 vs. the Cardinals, and will break the MLB record (1,595, set by the 2019 Tigers) October 1 in St. Louis.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Alec Mills seems thisclose to having a breakthrough which would make him more than just a No. 5 starter. He threw eight outstanding innings against a really good White Sox offense, then in his next start ran out of gas in the sixth against the Pirates.

He made two starts vs. the Reds in July — July 2 in Cincinnati (two hits, two runs, nine strikeouts in 5⅔ innings) and July 29 at Wrigley Field (six innings, three earned runs, but NO strikeouts). Overall since the All-Star break Mills has a 3.64 ERA and 1.404 WHIP in nine starts covering 47 innings, which is pretty good. He’s even done pretty well against Joey Votto — Votto has homered off him twice, but overall is 3-for-15 with three strikeouts.

Hoping for good things from Millsy tonight.

Statcast

Vladimir Gutierrez made his MLB debut against the Cubs May 28 at Wrigley Field and threw five good innings. He threw 6⅓ good innings against the Cubs July 27 at Wrigley Field. Both of those were pre-selloff. But he also threw 6⅓ good innings against the new-look Cubs August 17 in Cincinnati.

Overall, in fact, Gutierrez is on a decent run over his last eight starts: 3.20 ERA, 1.178 WHIP. Hopefully Mills will be a good match for him.

Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here is 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 Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds 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 2020 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. Here’s how it works.

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. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads” so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game’s StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.