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Game Thread: Pirates at Cubs, 4/1/21

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Happy Opening Day!

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees
Ke’Bryan is ready for his closeup.
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates (0-0) vs Chicago Cubs (0-0) - Thursday, April 1 @ 2:20 p.m.

Stadium: Wrigley Field, Chicago IL

TV: AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 93.7 The Fan

SB Nation Cubs site: Bleed Cubbie Blue

Starting Pitchers

Pirates: Chad Kuhl - RHP - (0-0) - 0.00 ERA - 0 total Ks

Cubs: Kyle Hendricks - RHP - (0-0) - 0.00 ERA - 0 total Ks

Probable Starting Lineups (subject to last-minute changes)

Pirates

1. Adam Frazier - 2B

2. Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B

3. Bryan Reynolds - LF

4. Colin Moran – 1B

5. Kevin Newman - SS

6. Gregory Polanco - RF

7. Jacob Stallings - C

8. Anthony Alford - CF

9. Chad Kuhl - P

Cubs

1. Ian Happ – CF

2. Willson Contreras - C

3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B

4. Kris Bryant - 3B

5. Joc Pederson - LF

6. Javier Baez - SS

7. Jason Heyward - RF

8. David Bote - 2B

9. Kyle Hendricks - P

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The wait is over.

After months of speculation, hand-wringing, curses against Bob Nutting, more speculation, and even more speculation than that, the 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates are ready to hit the field. After a better-than-expected spring training, including Kevin Newman and Adam Frazier’s sizzling bats (really, not joking, Adam Frazier) and Ke’Bryan Hayes pretty much picking up where he left off last season, there’s a slight hint of optimism in the air.

Chad Kuhl gets the ball for his first-ever Opening Day start for the Bucs. If nothing else, it’s a feel-good story, as it always is after a pitcher seemingly recovers from Tommy John surgery. He looked decent in spring training, and while no one’s expecting him to be the Second Coming of Justin Verlander (who, incidentally, is out for the season with his own TJS), we’ll cheer on Kuhl Whip nevertheless.

For the Cubs, Kyle Hendricks gets his second Opening Day nod in a row. He went 6-5 with a 2.88 ERA last year, but he’s a slow starter in the early part of the season despite winning Opening Day last year. Take advantage of that, Bucs.

It’s cold in Chicago, and it’s snowing here in Pittsburgh, but it is April, and it is time for baseball that counts. Bring your GIF A-game and come hang out in the comments. HAPPY 2021 MLB OPENING DAY AND LET’S GO BUCS!!