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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Monday 5/16, 6:40 CT

The Bucs visit Wrigley Field. The score in the photo above happened the last time the Pirates came to Chicago.

Al Yellon (Photo illustration: Mike Bojanowski)

Monday notes...

  • BEHIND THE PLATE: Cubs catchers Willson Contreras and Yan Gomes are batting .254/.358/.424 (30-for-118) combined this year with four home runs. The OBP and OPS numbers rank third in MLB among all catching combinations.
  • THE STARTERS ARE COMING AROUND: Cubs starting pitchers posted a 2.97 ERA (11 earned runs in 33⅓ innings) on the just-completed road trip after posting a 5.52 ERA (19 earned runs in 31 innings) in their previous eight games (seven of which were losses).
  • THE RELIEVERS, TOO: The Cubs bullpen allowed no runs in three innings Sunday afternoon and has posted a 2.94 ERA (16 earned runs in 49 innings) since May 1, the best mark in the NL.
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RICK REUSCHEL!: The former Cubs righthander, who ranks second all-time in franchise history with 48.3 bWAR as a Cub, turns 73 today.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Also of interest:

Wade Miley, LHP vs. Dillon Peters, LHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

Wade Miley did not have a good outing in his first start, primarily having trouble with command and control, issuing five walks. Fix that and I think he’ll be fine this year.

Last year in three starts against the Pirates he posted a 2.60 ERA and 1.327 WHIP, though that was mostly against guys who aren’t on the Pirates anymore. No current Pirates position player has ever faced him. So, perhaps that will be to his advantage.

Dillon Peters has pitched quite well this year in 10 appearances (three starts). In fact, he’s allowed runs in just one of those outings, and in three relief appearances against the Cubs this season he’s faced 16 batters and allowed just two to reach base: a single by Jonathan Villar and a walk drawn by Frank Schwindel.

The Cubs are going to have to do better than that tonight.

Peters has not thrown more than 46 pitches in a game this year so he’s not likely to throw more than four innings or so. Hopefully the Cubs can get him out of the game early.

Statcast
Statcast

NOTE: The pitch selection graphic for Miley is for 2021 since Statcast requires at least 100 pitches thrown in a season to put together a graphic like this. Miley threw 64 pitches in his first 2022 start last week, so by his next start we should have an updated graphic.

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.