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

  • CBP

    Our offense needs to improve in the bottom of our order

    • Matt

      First five at bats from the bottom 3rd of the order accounted for half of Burnett’s 10 strikeouts. That’s really not good. I don’t expect this to happen regularly, but just really can’t ever happen, especially when one of those times is with runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    The Cubs are just like every other team: as a team, they hit better with men in scoring position half the time and worse with men in scoring position half the time. The Cubs problem is that they just don’t hit well period, and one key effect is that they’ve been at the bottom of MLB in PAs with men in scoring position the last few years.

  • Leroy

    Can anyone tell me what patch they are wearing?

    • TheDynastyStartsIn2016

      Tribute to Newtown.

  • Jp3

    Siap but Castro looked good today… Everybody looks better when you’re winning but man Castro made his contract look like a steal today in light of some of the ones signed recently. It’s only one game but Castro was impressive defensively this afternoon.

  • DarthHater

    Okay, Cub fans. Brace yourselves for Marmol in the bottom of the 9th . . . 😛

  • TheDynastyStartsIn2016

    We won’t waste this Shark start with a Marmol appearance, will we?

  • Jp3

    Oh this could be aweful if Marmol comes in

    • whiteflag

      cover your eyes

      • DarthHater

        Now, now. Think positive, encouraging thoughts . . . 😉

        • DarthHater

          Okay, NOW you can think nasty thoughts! 😛

  • Jp3

    Wasn’t it Dempster last year that had a lot of quality starts and nothing to show for it because of all the blown leads and no run support?

  • Jp3

    Anyone else think marmol has put on some weight????

  • Rebuilding

    The “core” – Smardzija, Castro and Rizzo sure were encouraging today. Marmol has me covering my eyes

  • RY34

    here comes the walkoff

  • Danny Ballgame

    Mother Smurfing Marmol

  • Brent

    Always nice when your closer can’t make it through one inning of the first game of the season (let alone any game). I hate Marmol.

  • Bilbo161

    I’m real tired of this! We don’t need this guy and neither does anyone else. Get him off the team.

    • DarthHater

      I can’t imagine why Detroit didn’t want to trade us Porcello or a significant prospect for Marmol. 😉

  • cubzforlife

    Man I really don’t like that dude.

  • Mike

    Woohoo, Marmol taken out!!

  • Rebuilding

    Props to Svuem for coming to get Marmol. Pretty ballsy in Game 1. Now lets put him in long relief – no one wants him anyway

  • Cubsfanforlife

    The Cubs gotta be realistic, Marmol has no value. He is a sunk cost, stop pitching him in pressure situations. He was brutal all spring, he was brutal today, stop pitching him when we are winning. No one is going to give you anything valuable for him. He had a good stretch last year and you couldn’t get anything for him, nothing is going to change now.

    • RY34

      Well said!

    • HoustonTransplant

      Agree. He’s useless.

    • kmr1453

      Nailed it!!

  • Jeff

    Okay, with a 9.8M salary and let’s be generous and say he get’s into 60 games this year, feels like a wasted $163,000 in that half inning

  • Mike


  • Jeff

    Are we watching the new Cubs closer warming up??

    • Jeff

      Hell Ya!!!!!

  • Bilbo161

    Omg 1st place!

  • DarthHater

    Say hello to your new Cubs closer!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      My wish is that we are seeing the Cubs realize that “closer” is not a position, and that they should aim for matchups, not situations.

      I also wish for world peace and my portfolio to finally get over $1M……

  • Rebuilding

    I’m headed out to trademark Fujikawa phrases. How about Let’s do the Fuji or Fuji Yu?

    • DarthHater


      • HoustonTransplant

        Ha! Love it.

      • Danny Ballgame

        Yeah buddy

  • Rebuilding

    I sure hope the quick hook (or Marmol’s. reaction to it) means we have seen the last of him in the 9th inning

  • cubzforlife

    Russell and Fujikawa throw strikes.

  • Kyle

    Heck yes. Samardzija was just amazing. His changeup really impressed me as a nice third pitch to drop in once in awhile.

    I wish so hard that we had Garza/Jackson to finish the series instead of Jackson/Wood. Would be nice to really just send waves of good pitching at teams instead of great/ok/meh.

  • Knuckles

    Marmol needs to be sent to AAA until he can prove he can throw strikes.

  • Stinky Pete

    Wire to wire, Baby!!

  • cubzforlife

    I wonder if Fuji’s translator translates Spanish to Japanese too?