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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Tuesday 7/26, 1:20 CT

The Cubs go for six straight wins!

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday notes...

  • MOVIN’ ON UP: If the Cubs win this afternoon, they will be alone in third place in the NL Central for the first time since July 8. Baby steps.
  • LEADING THE LEAGUE: Scott Effross’ appearance Monday was his 46th of the season. He’s tied with John Brebbia of the Giants for the MLB lead in that category, and is on pace for 78 appearances this year. That would be the most for a Cub since Steve Cishek appeared in 80 games in 2018.
  • WHAT A RELIEF: Cubs relievers have allowed just two earned runs over the last seven games, spanning 29 innings (0.62 ERA).
  • THE MOREL FILES: Christopher Morel’s seventh-inning walk extended his on-base streak to nine. In those nine games he is batting .379/.486/.552 (11-for-29) with three doubles, a triple, five walks and six runs scored. Overall Morel has reached base by hit or walk in 52 of the 56 games in which he has a plate appearance this year.
  • THE NICO FILES: Nico Hoerner, last 30 games since June 20: .357/.405/.504 (41-for-115) with eight doubles, three home runs and 17 runs scored.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Keegan Thompson, RHP vs. Bryse Wilson, RHP


Keegan Thompson’s last start before the All-Star break, vs. the Mets, wasn’t too good. Still, overall over his last six starts: 3.06 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 36 strikeouts and only one home run allowed over 32⅓ innings. That’ll play, for sure.

Thompson was given extra time over the break to refresh — this is his first start in 12 days.

Against the Pirates this year: Three appearances (two starts), 0.60 ERA (one run in 15 innings), two walks, 16 strikeouts.

Bryse Wilson started against the Cubs May 16 at Wrigley Field and allowed four runs (three earned) in 5⅓ innings in a game the Cubs won 9-0.

In five starts since then: 7.54 ERA, 1.721 WHIP, five home runs in 22⅔ innings. (Only four walks in that span, though. So... is that good?)

This is Wilson’s first start in nine days. Perhaps that will help him. Or maybe not: In a small sample size, current Cubs are hitting .366 (15-for-41) against Wilson with one home run (Willson Contreras).


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 Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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.