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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Thursday 4/21, 6:40 CT

The Cubs open a four-game set against the visitors from Pittsburgh.

Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

ICYMI:

Thursday notes...

  • THE LAST TIME IT HAPPENED: Wednesday night, the Cubs played in a rain-shortened game for the first time since tying Pittsburgh, 1-1 on Sept. 29, 2016, when the game was called in the sixth inning. Here’s the BCB recap of that game with some interesting tie game history. That 2016 game is the most recent tie game in MLB history.
  • THINGS ARE BETTER THAN YOU THINK: The Cubs’ 6-6 record is among the better such records after 12 games since the World Series championship year of 2016:

2017: 6-6
2018: 6-6
2019: 4-8
2020: 10-2
2021: 5-7

  • SEIYA UPDATE: Seiya Suzuki is leading MLB in OBP (.565), OPS (1.404), adjusted OPS+ (303), offensive bWAR (1.2) and is second in walks (13).
  • UNDERRATED: Keegan Thompson leads all MLB pitchers in bWAR (1.1) and would rank third in WHIP (0.621) if he had enough innings to qualify.
  • CUBS vs. BUCS: The Cubs are 41-18 against the Pirates at Wrigley Field since 2018. That includes going 7-3 against them at Wrigley in 2021, and the last series (September 2-5) was a Cubs four-game sweep.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Mark Leiter Jr., RHP vs. Bryse Wilson, RHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

Mark Leiter Jr. threw two good innings in his first Cubs start, and then got pounded.

Thoughts:

  • The Pirates aren’t the Rockies, and
  • This game isn’t in Coors Field.

Leiter hasn’t faced the Pirates since 2018 and most of those guys aren’t on the team anymore. Only Ben Gamel (2-for-4) and Jake Marisnick (1-for-1) among current Pirates have faced him, and that’s way too small a sample size to make any judgments.

Hoping for better things for Leiter.

Bryse Wilson was once a top 100 prospect and one of the better arms in the Braves system. The Pirates acquired him at the deadline last year for Richard Rodriguez. He made eight starts for Pittsburgh last year and has made two this year and the results haven’t been good (4.99 ERA, 10 home runs in 48⅔ innings). No current Cub has faced him more than six times.

As always, we await developments.

Statcast
Statcast

NOTE: The Statcast pitch graphics require a minimum of 100 pitches per season. Leiter isn’t there yet this year, so his graphic is from his previous MLB season in 2018.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Pirates market territories).

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 2022 Game Thread procedure will be like last years, 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.