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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Friday 8/25, 6:05 CT

The Cubs go for two in a row in Pittsburgh.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Friday notes...

  • EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!: Last night’s game was the Cubs’ first that went into extra innings since July 4 — 43 games earlier. They have played only five this season, winning three and losing two. They finished the 60-game 2020 season with just four. The Cubs’ fewest in a full season is five, in 1948 (3-1-1). They have had fewer than 10 in four more seasons, including nine in 2001 (3-6). A year ago, the Cubs went beyond the ninth inning 19 times, as they had in 2018. Their record is 23, in 1976 (15-8), 1991 (12-11) and 1992 (8-15). They had 22 in five seasons, most recently in 2000 (9-13). (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • HE’S HOT, BATTING EDITION: Nick Madrigal, last six games since August 16: .467/.467/.867 (7-for-15), three doubles, a home run, only one strikeout.
  • HE’S HOT, PITCHING EDITION: Julian Merryweather, last 14 appearances since July 22: 1.69 ERA, 0.813 WHIP, just four walks and 23 strikeouts in 16 innings, with seven holds.
  • STREAKING: The Cubs are 14-7 this month and 24-10 since July 18. The last time before 2023 that the Cubs had a 24-10 stretch over a 34-game period was April 15-May 23, 2019.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Mitch Keller, RHP

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

After 17 starts this year Kyle Hendricks is a 1.2 bWAR pitcher.

That’s pretty good, all things considered. With WAR a counting stat, he should be able to get to 2 if he keeps up his current production. That would be just a bit short of what he did in 2018 (2.8).

Kyle started vs. the Pirates June 21 at PNC Park and allowed two runs (one earned) in 6⅓ innings. The second run scored on an error after Kyle left the game. He threw 88 pitches (55 strikes). I think we’d take another one like that tonight. A possible good sign: Hendricks threw a couple of pitches at 90 miles per hour in his last start, the first time he’s done that in years.

Mitch Keller made the N.L. All-Star team but since the All-Star break, yikes: 6.98 ERA, 1.759 WHIP, eight home runs in 38⅔ innings. Three of the seven starts were particularly bad, though his last three have been a bit better.

He has not faced the Cubs this year. Ian Happ has hit him hard: 7-for-16 (.438), a double, two home runs, five walks. Dansby Swanson is 4-for-7 with three doubles.


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here.

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.


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