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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Thursday 9/22, 5:35 CT

The Cubs open a four-game set in PNC Park.

Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Thursday notes...

  • SWITCH-HITTING: Ian Happ has 58 extra-base hits this season. He’s the third Cubs switch-hitter to reach 58 extra-base hits in a season and the first since Augie Galan had 64 in 1935, the franchise record for a switch-hitter. With 14 games remaining, Happ has a chance to reach that record.
  • WHAT A RELIEF: Over the last 12 games, the Cubs bullpen has posted a 2.51 ERA (12 earned runs in 43 innings) with 11 walks, 48 strikeouts and a .222 opponents BA (35-for-158).
  • LET’S GET SOME RUNS: The Cubs are 49-25 (.662) when scoring four or more runs in a game, but just 15-60 (.200) when scoring three or fewer runs.
  • THE CLOSE ONES: The Cubs’ 83 games decided by two or fewer runs are the most in the majors, just ahead of tonight’s opponent, the Pirates (81). The Cubs are 37-46 (.446) in those 83 games, which breaks down as follows: 22-26 in one-run games and 15-20 in games decided by two runs.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

The Pirates lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Pirates lineup.

Hayden Wesneski, RHP vs. Mitch Keller, RHP

Major League Baseball

Hayden Wesneski has been as advertised in his first three MLB appearances, including his outstanding seven-inning start last Saturday against the Rockies.

He’s obviously never faced the Pirates or anyone on their roster. This will, for whatever it’s worth, be his first MLB appearance in a ballpark other than Wrigley Field.

Mitch Keller had a rough start to his 2022 season, posting a 5.21 ERA over his first 16 appearances (15 starts), but since then he’s been quite good: 12 starts, 2.69 ERA, 1.224 WHIP, 3.60 FIP. This is the guy the Pirates thought they had when they made him a second-round pick in 2014.

He has one start against the Cubs, May 18 at Wrigley Field, when he was lifted in the third inning having allowed just one run. Doesn’t appear there was an injury involved as he made his next start.


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

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.