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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Friday 9/23, 5:35 CT

The Cubs go for their fourth straight win.

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Friday notes...

  • HE’S ACTUALLY... GOOD: Mark Leiter Jr., last 18 appearances since July 30: 1.75 ERA, 0.935 WHIP, 27 strikeouts in 25⅔ innings.
  • THE PITTSBURGH-AREA NATIVE: Ian Happ has reached base safely in each of his last 27 games against the Pirates dating to April 10, 2021. Happ has batted .353/.442/.569 (36-for-102) with 10 doubles, four homers, 17 RBI, 17 walks and a 1.011 OPS against Pittsburgh during this stretch.
  • BULLPEN UPDATE: Over the Cubs’ last 13 games, the bullpen has posted a 2.36 ERA (12 earned runs in 45⅔ innings) with 16 walks, 52 strikeouts and a .216 opponents BA (36-for-167).
  • LET’S GET SOME RUNS: The Cubs are 49-25 (.662) when scoring four or more runs in a game, but 16-60 (.200) when scoring three or fewer runs. However, they are 3-3 in their last six games when scoring three or fewer runs.
  • THE CLOSE ONES: The Cubs have had 84 games decided by two or fewer runs this year, the most in the majors. They are 38-46 (.452) in those 83 contests. Their 49 one-run affairs are fifth-most in the majors and the Cubs have a 23-26 (.469) record in those games. They enter Friday’s game having won three straight games by one run and four of their last five one-run contests.

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.

Javier Assad, RHP vs. Bryse Wilson, RHP

Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Javier Assad walks too many guys. It’s that simple. Even in the two MLB appearances when he allowed no runs, he walked six in nine total innings, and in his six outings total, he’s issued no walks only once.

In some of these outings he’s worked himself out of trouble; last time out he didn’t, and that wound up in him leaving the game last Sunday against the Rockies after two innings.

He’ll have to do better to stick around. He’s never faced the Pirates or anyone on their active roster.

Bryse Wilson has faced the Cubs three times this year and the results have not been good (well, for him, anyway): 5.65 ERA, 1.674 WHIP. That ERA is actually a bit better than his season mark of 6.07.

Current Cubs are batting a small sample size .359 (14-for-39) against Wilson with five doubles and six walks.


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.