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Worth noting

• With two rainouts already this season, including one on Wednesday, the Cubs' bullpen at least is well rested entering the weekend.

"Our starters have gone deep to where nobody's really gotten abused or anything anyway," Sveum said.

• Given Chicago's offensive struggles -- the Cubs entered Thursday ranked 28th in baseball in runs scored (44), 27th in batting average (.221) and 22nd in slugging (.372) -- Sveum said there are game situations where he may be more likely to try something creative at the plate.

"There are some times when you try to do things accordingly to the personnel you have at the plate or the guys you have on the basepaths," he said. "Sometimes you try to push the envelope a little bit or try to get guys out of slumps. … A lot of times it's hard to just play for one run because you're looking for certain things. Obviously [at Wrigley Field] you can play for just one run because the infield's in, because the wind's howling in or something like that, and certain times you know it's gonna be a low-scoring game."

• While many of his bullpen mates have struggled this season, James Russell has quietly put together one of the best early seasons of any situational lefty in baseball.

"Just his numbers alone dictate that, and the reliability and endurance that he has," Sveum said. "He's got a four-pitch mix to where he can get right-handers out as well. You can leave him in, obviously [he] demonstrated last year when he had to face a lot of right-handers and did a great job."

Russell has struck out six and allowed just one hit in 4 1/3 innings this year, entering Thursday.

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