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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Thursday 6/23, 11:35 a.m. CT

The Cubs go for the series split.

Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images
  • ICYMI:

Other Thursday notes...

  • ALFONSO RIVAS: ... hit his first career grand slam Wednesday night and tied his career high with five RBI (also the most RBI by a Cub in a single game this season).
  • CHRISTOPHER MOREL: ... his .463 SLG is third and his .327 OBP ranks sixth in the National League among all rookies (minimum 130 at-bats).
  • DAVID ROBERTSON: ... by recording his first career at-bat in his 696th career game, Robertson surpassed Mariano Rivera (687 games) for the most games pitched in major league history before his first plate appearance. (H/T: Elias Sports Bureau)
  • UPS AND DOWNS: The Cubs began the season 9-18 through their first 27 games, scoring 3.8 runs per game and hitting 20 homers. The club then went 14-12 in its next 26 games, hitting 35 homers while scoring 135 runs. Since then: 3-13 with 53 runs scored and 14 home runs.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Justin Steele, LHP vs. Jose Quintana, LHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

Today’s all-lefty matchup is the second start of the year for Justin Steele against the Pirates. April 24 at Wrigley Field, he lasted only three innings and allowed four hits, four walks and three runs. Cutting down on the walks has helped him. Since June 1: three starts, 1.89 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, six walks in 19 innings. His K rate is also down (only seven in those 19 innings), but if he’s getting outs, that’s all that matters.

No, you did not predict that Jose Quintana would recover his pre-Cubs level of performance with the Pirates this year. No one did. It will bring the Bucs a good return when they trade him next month.

His last five starts, though... 5.67 ERA, 1.667 WHIP, five home runs in 27 innings.

Maybe the Cubs can take advantage. Q vs. the Cubs this year: two starts, 2.70 ERA, 1.300 WHIP.

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.