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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Sunday 4/24, 1:20 CT

The Cubs go for the series split.

Al Yellon (Photo illustration: Mike Bojanowski)

Sunday notes...

  • NICO’S DAY: Nico Hoerner went 4-for-5 Saturday and set a career high in hits. He also had back-to-back games with at least three hits for the first time in his career and raised his season slash line to .327/.340/.469. His two hits in the second inning was the first time a Cub had a two-hit inning in 2022.
  • MORE THREES: Alfonso Rivas, Seiya Suzuki, Willson Contreras and Ian Happ had three hits on the day Saturday. It was the first time the Cubs had five players with at least three hits in a game since April 4, 2005, a 16-6 win against the Diamondbacks (Corey Patterson, Todd Walker, Aramis Ramirez, Jeromy Burnitz, Derrek Lee).
  • THE PROFESSOR: Kyle Hendricks threw seven scoreless innings, his longest scoreless start since throwing eight scoreless innings on September 18, 2020 vs. Minnesota. The outing lowered his season ERA to 3.98 and WHIP to 1.377.
  • SEIYA!: Seiya Suzuki, who went 3-for-4 Saturday, leads MLB in OBP entering Sunday’s game with a .517 mark. His SLG of .721 ranks third, and his OPS of 1.238 is a close second to Nolan Arenado (1.240).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Justin Steele, LHP vs. JT Brubaker, RHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

Justin Steele threw pretty well in his first two starts of 2022, not so much in his most recent outing against the Rays. Last year he threw nine scoreless innings against the Pirates (one start, one relief appearance). No current Pirate has faced him more than three times. You’ll note below that Steele relies almost exclusively on his four-seamer and slider. It would help if he could develop a reliable changeup.

JT Brubaker is supposed to be the Pirates’ “ace” but he has not thrown well in three starts this year — 7.30 ERA, 1.622 WHIP. He did allow the Brewers only two hits (and two walks) in five innings in his last start, but Milwaukee scored four runs (two earned) off him anyway.

Last year against the Cubs he posted a 4.32 ERA and 1.320 WHIP in two starts. Pittsburgh-area native Ian Happ is 4-for-12 (.333) against him with two doubles.

Statcast
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 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.