Well, they ain’t the Nationals, but they’re still a playoff contender. The Pirates aren’t too shabby this year, and this series means a whole lot to them.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (51-86) at Pittsburgh Pirates (72-64), 6:05 CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood (4-11, 4.64 ERA, 5.29 FIP)


A.J. Burnett (15-5, 3.63 ERA, 3.77 FIP)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Brock Holt, 2B

2. Starling Marte, LF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Garrett Jones, RF

5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B

6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

7. Rod Barajas, C

8. Josh Harrison, SS

9. A.J. Burnett, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Steve Clevenger, C

7. Brett Jackson, CF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Travis Wood, P

  • North Side Irish

    So if the Cubs are shutting down Samardzija after his next start, does that make Volstad or Wood the ace of the staff?

    • 100 Years of Tears

      Thanks for that little ray of sunshine…

    • cubzfan23

      Gonna get uglier… Cubs definitly lose 100…

    • cjdubbya

      I’d say Woody, only because he’s shown more flashes this year…and his ERA’s about 2 points lower.

  • João Lucas

    Clevenger two nights in a row? Is there something wrong with Castillo or hasn’t Dale Sveum realized yet he’s way better than Clevenger?

  • gutshot5820

    Watching the Cubs game on MLB.com. The announcers are saying that Soriano is the runaway MVP of the Cubs this year. How bad is your team if a player no other team wants, no matter how much salary you are willing to give them is your MVP.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      How bad is your team if a player no other team wants, no matter how much salary you are willing to give them is your MVP.

      It would be awful. However, that player wouldn’t be Soriano.

      • die hard

        well, try to imagine the starting 8 next year without his numbers?..not saying he will be as productive…in fact he could tank or be retired…but if some team looking for a DH agrees to take him and Cubs let him go but willing to eat 95% of salary….who would replace his production?..Nobody currently..does that mean FA again?…dont have the money ….could be very ugly

  • gutshot5820

    Okay, you are right. The Giants wanted Soriano.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Sori turned down a trade to the O’s, too. Also, the Cubs were not willing to eat all of his salary, at least according to reports.

  • fortyonenorth

    Did B-Jax totally miss home plate on that slide home? Sure looks like he did on the replay. Ump was looking at the catcher to see if he held onto the ball.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Wow, big ups to Jackson for that catch. As Stacy King would say “Heart, hustle and muscle!”

  • baldtaxguy

    Jackson!! Impressed by that catch. That was 100% effort

  • Trigger

    Marmol in the 9th with a 10 run lead? This should be fun. 😉