pnc parkThere’s been a little rain and a little snow, but, right now, it looks like Opening Day is going to go off for the Cubs and Pirates as scheduled. Jeff Samardzija will do his best to hold the Pirates down, and Brent Lillibridge will do his best Darwin Barney impression.

A.J. Burnett takes the ball for the Pirates, and he’s actually had relatively good luck against most of the Cubs over the years.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (0-0) at Pittsburgh Pirates (0-0), 12:35 CT on WGN.

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

Jeff Samardzija (0-0, -.– ERA)


A.J. Burnett (0-0, -.– ERA)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Starling Marte, LF

2. Garrett Jones, RF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B

6. Neil Walker, 2B

7. Russell Martin, C

8. Clint Barmes, SS

9. A.J. Burnett, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Luis Valbuena, 3B

8. Brent Lillibridge, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • North Side Irish

    Good day to be working from home…

  • Dude

    I’ve been waiting so many months to see this Pre-Gamin’. Let’s get some runs!!

  • cedlandrum

    Wow I hadn’t been paying attention but Jackie Bradley Jr. is starting for the Red Sox today. He was drafted in 2011 after an injury plagued college year. He went in the supplemental 1st round.

  • BD

    When I read the Cubs lineup from the top, I am pretty pumped by the time I get to Soriano in the clean-up spot. And then there are 4 guys who should all be hitting in the eight spot, or sitting on the bench. Oy.

    • kmr1453

      Who, on the current roster, would you have playing instead of those four?

    • Noah

      I think you (and a lot of other people) are underrating Nate Schierholtz against right handed pitching. While I’m not saying Schierholtz is someone you’d love to have batting fifth, he’s better than bottom of the order fodder.

  • HoustonTransplant

    It’s about time! GO, CUBS!

    Here’s to unrealistic expectations and extremely high optimism! YAY!

    • forlines

      DAMN RIGHT! It’s our year…. or next year is. haha GO CUBBIES!

  • Richp

    Hey,Hey,holy mackeral,no doubt about it the Cubs are on their way! Opening day is finally here!!!!

  • npnovak

    Why does Walker never hit 2nd for the Pirates? He seems like a much better option there than Jones at least

    • kmr1453

      I agree, Jones should be hitting 5th.

  • North Side Irish

    Joe Sheehan ‏@joe_sheehan 23m
    Possible Francona starter kit. RT @MRubio52 what do you think of Sveum? Too small/tainted a sample?

    I think this is a compliment…

  • EB

    Let’s go Cubbies!!

  • Patrick W.

    I have my MLB app for Kindle Fire up and running. Great day for America.

  • Brett

    Middle of the day on a Monday? Sounds like the right time for a beer.

    • Dave

      I’ve already begun. This using vacation for Opening Day thing is going to become a yearly tradition. I’ve done it a few times, but I had beer and hamburgers prepared for today.

  • wvcubsfan

    Next year is here

    • DarthHater

      Oh yeah? Well, wait’ll the year after that!

      • wvcubsfan

        why should this one be any different than all the others before?

  • Dave


  • Freshness21

    Castro looking very Jerome Walton-esc so far this year…

  • Freshness21


  • North Side Irish

    Bomb. McCutcheon didn’t even move.

  • Rebuilding

    Wow, that was crushed!

  • EQ76


  • Koyie Hill Sucks

    Single by castro and home run by Rizzo hopefully a sign of things to come this year!!!!!!!!!

  • Alex

    We might be a shit team but that’s gonna be a fun 2-3 to watch

  • EQ76

    Castro’s on pace for 500 hits and Rizzo for at least 162 HRS!!!

  • Brett


    Also: a Castro single on a pitch you wouldn’t think he could hit, and then a Rizzo bomb – that’s your upside for the 2013 Chicago Cubs. If they could just do that every single game (say, twice a game), this team could do some things!

    • BFiddy

      So you’re saying if Rizzo hits 324 HR this year, we have a chance to be good?

      I’ll take it!

    • DarthHater

      162 HRs is not good enough for you? Come on! Don’t get greedy, Bert! 😉

      • North Side Irish

        Rizzo needs to keep up with Harper…he’s on pace for about 600 HRs this season.

  • KidCubbie

    Fantasy points!

  • Brett

    It’s great that Lillibridge can play all over, but the early returns are that he can’t play “well” all over.

    • Dale’s Ear

      That error caused me to cringe when that pop-up went to him… Couldn’t he at least catch it with two hands after making an error?

  • Brett

    Great to see Samardzija get out of that, though obviously you’d rather not see him burn 22 pitches in the first.

    (If you’ve never noticed before, I sometimes obsess about pitch counts.)

    • Joel Schmidt

      With Shark we all should

  • Bilbo161

    Way to cover the error Jeff.

  • North Side Irish

    Marlon Byrd already 50% of the way to matching his 2012 RBI total for the Cubs…

  • North Side Irish

    That Valbuena at bat made me miss Ian Stewart. At least with Stewart we could have blamed it on his wrist.

  • Matty Ice

    Lilibridge F@#king sucks

  • Mike

    Same ol’ same ol: can’t hit with runners in scoring position (Valbuena and Lillibridge). I’m guessing a record of 65-97.