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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Game 1 preview, Friday 9/1, 12:10 CT

The first game of a big doubleheader.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

SITE NOTE: We’ll follow the usual split doubleheader procedure here today. All the threads from BOTH games will reside in one StoryStream. After this game is over, I’ll post a preview for Game 2 which will have a few quick highlights and recap from Game 1, along with the details for the second game. A full recap of both games will post at 8 a.m. CT tomorrow.

Friday notes...

  • DOUBLE DIPPING IN CINCINNATI: The Cubs have not swept two games at Cincinnati since July 9, 1972, when they did it for the third straight year. Ferguson Jenkins pitched a 7-hit, no-walk shutout in Game 1, a 5-0 victory. In Game 2, Carmen Fanzone drove in five runs with a two-run homer and three-run double, and Tommy Davis knocked in three more with two singles, as the Cubs won, 10-5. The Cubs have played seven doubleheaders at Cincinnati since then. They lost both games in 1975, 1980 and 2014; lost the first game and won the second in 2012, 2015 and 2018; and won the first and lost the second in 2020. They have split five of six doubleheaders at home against the Reds since 1972. The exception: a pair of 5-2 wins on August 28, 1984.
  • LIVIN’ IN THE AIR IN CINCINNATI: Ian Happ, who is on an eight-game hitting streak in which he is batting .323/.400/.645 (10-for-31) with four doubles and two home runs, absolutely LOVES hitting in Cincinnati. For his career at GABP: .322/.425/.730 in 45 games, with 16 home runs, by far his most long balls at any park outside of Wrigley Field (next most: eight in 40 games in St. Louis). In two games at GABP so far this year: 4-for-8 with two doubles and three walks.
  • CENTRALLY LOCATED: Though they are 4-5 vs. the Reds so far this year, overall the Cubs are 26-16 against N.L. Central opponents this season. The Cubs’ .619 winning percentage against N.L. Central opponents is their highest mark against any division. Against other N.L. Central teams: Brewers 5-5, Cardinals 8-5, Pirates 9-1.
  • HAPPY CLIMATE: Julian Merryweather, last 16 games since July 22: 1.47 ERA, 0.764 WHIP, 26 strikeouts and only four walks in 18⅓ innings. That’s 26 strikeouts in 67 batters faced over that span, a 38.8 percent strikeout rate.

Here are the particulars for Game 1.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Jordan Wicks, LHP vs. Graham Ashcraft, RHP

Tennessee Smokies
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Wicks had an outstanding MLB debut last Saturday against the Pirates. You can read all about that here.

He has obviously never faced the Reds. However, his last start for Triple-A Iowa was against the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate at Louisville and some current Reds were in that game August 17. Wicks gave up a couple of runs in that game and struck out seven.

Wicks has not yet thrown 100 MLB pitches (80 in his first start) so he won’t have a pitch selection chart from Statcast until after this game.

Today is also Wicks’ 24th birthday, so happy birthday, Jordan, and here’s hoping it’s a memorable ballgame for you and the Cubs!

Graham Ashcraft’s overall numbers aren’t great, but since June 30 he has a 2.39 ERA and 1.088 WHIP in 11 starts, though with 10 HR allowed in 71⅔ innings.

The Cubs scored three runs in five innings off him May 28 at Wrigley Field. Patrick Wisdom homered off him. Wisdom also homered off him last year, a blast that reached Waveland.


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Reds market territories).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds 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 — also see the note at the top of this preview.

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.