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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Tuesday 9/19, 6:40 CT

An important homestand begins tonight.

Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Today's roster move: Here

Tuesday notes...

  • WATCH OUT FOR THAT FIRST INNING: The Cubs have been outscored in the first inning of games, 86-76. The only other inning through the ninth in which they have been outscored is the sixth, 76-71. They have outscored their opponents by 38 runs in the eighth, 104-66; by 25 in the third, 110-85; and by 18 in the fifth, 84-66. That adds up to +81 in those three innings. They are +5 in all others combined. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • SEIYA UPDATE: Despite going 0-for-4 Sunday, Seiya Suzuki is still a Player of the Month candidate. In 17 games in September: .354/.411/.708 (23-for-65) with six doubles, a triple, five home runs, 17 RBI and 10 runs scored.
  • ALSO A HOT HITTER: Ian Happ, last four games: .444/.474/.722 (8-for-18), two doubles, a home run, three runs scored. Happ also has 93 walks for the season, which ranks fourth in the National League. That’s the most for a Cub since Kris Bryant had 95 in 2017. The last Cub to walk 100+ times in a season was Carlos Peña, who had 101 in 2011.
  • AIMING FOR THE CENTURY MARK: Cody Bellinger has 91 RBI. The last Cubs to have 100+ RBI in a season were Javier Báez (111) and Anthony Rizzo (101), who both did it in 2018.
  • RUN SCORING MILESTONE AHEAD: Despite their troubles with run scoring on the recent road trip, the Cubs have scored 749 runs this year, which ranks third in the N.L. and seventh in MLB. They are on pace to score 809 runs. It would be the first time a Cubs team scored 800+ runs since 2019 (814) and just the sixth time since 1970.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Javier Assad, RHP vs. Bailey Falter, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Assad had a good run of starts cut short by the Rockies last Tuesday in Denver.

So let’s ignore that for a moment and focus on the good seven-start run before that. That included throwing seven one-run innings against the Pirates August 27 in Pittsburgh, allowing three hits and striking out seven.

Another one just like that, please.

Bailey Falter was Assad’s opponent in that August 27 game. He allowed six runs in 4⅔ innings, and again, another one like that would be nice.

Falter made two relief appearances after that, then held the Nationals to a run in six innings September 12.


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 — 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.