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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Thursday 6/15, 7:05 CT

The Cubs go for the three-game sweep!

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Today's roster move: Here

Thursday notes...

  • A MILESTONE: Today’s game will be the Cubs’ 4,000th since their last no-hitter as the home team, Milt Pappas’ should-have-been-a-perfect game against the Padres on September 2, 1972. (It will be their 3,999th game at Wrigley Field. They were the home team for a game in Tokyo in 2000.) Since Pappas came within one strike of perfection, the Cubs have had five no-hitters on the road. They have had 24 one-hitters at home, including two this season, April 21 vs. the Dodgers and May 29 vs. the Rays. The Cubs’ current streak is the 10th longest in Major League Baseball’s Modern Era. The Phillies went 6,904 games from Opening Day of 1901 until Aug. 14, 1990. The Pirates went 5,373 (1907-76) and the Tigers, 4,389 (1952-2007). There are three active streaks longer than the Cubs’: Padres (4,300), Brewers (4,290) and Orioles (4,217). Neither the Padres nor Brewers ever have had a no-hitter at home. The other streaks longer than the Cubs’: Cardinals (4,208, 1924-78), Cubs (4,165, 1901-55) and Mets (4,009, 1962-2012). The three longest streaks after the Cubs’ 3,999 all are active: Blue Jays (3,638), Guardians (3,306) and Cardinals (3,115). (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • DEFEATING THE ROOKIES: While there is a feeling among most Cubs fans that they don’t do well vs. pitchers making their MLB debuts, that hasn’t been the case recently. Wednesday’s game against Pirates righthander Osvaldo Bido was the third such game this year and 10th since 2020, and the Cubs are 7-3 in those games.
  • DANSBY FOR THE DEFENSE: Dansby Swanson has gone 50 straight games at shortstop without an error dating to April 20 (169 total chances). Just two Cubs since 1901 have had longer errorless stretches at shortstop: Don Kessinger in 1969, 54 consecutive games (274 total chances) and Mick Kelleher 60 straight games at shortstop from 1976-79 (199 total chances — Kelleher did make errors at other positions in that span, but none at SS).
  • RUNS, SCORED AND ALLOWED: Wednesday’s win was the second in a row where the Cubs allowed more than two runs and won the game. When allowing more than two runs this year, the Cubs are 6-34.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. Johan Oviedo, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman continues to pitch like he could be the starting pitcher for the N.L. in this year’s All-Star Game.

Last five starts: 1.26 ERA, 0.841 WHIP, just one home run in 35⅔ innings.

He did not face the Pirates at all last year, so his record against them is a fairly small sample size: .288 (19-for-66) with no home runs and 10 strikeouts.

Johan Oviedo came to the Pirates in the deal that sent José Quintana to St. Louis at the deadline last year. Oviedo threw pretty well in seven starts for Pittsburgh last year, including seven shutout innings vs. the Cubs September 24, 2022. He hasn’t been quite as good this year, though better over his last six starts: 2.62 ERA, just two home runs in 34⅓ innings. He has walked a lot of hitters this year (4.3 per nine innings), so maybe the Cubs can take advantage of that.

Current Cubs are batting .286 against him in a small sample size (12-for-42). Ian Happ is 4-for-10 with a double and triple.


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 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, 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.