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pnc parkYou don’t need me to get you excited to watch tonight’s game. Matt Garza is finally back, and it will be good to see him in action once again. It’s easy to forget: dude is good, and is frequently quite enjoyable to watch.

Garza is expected to be on a pitch count, so don’t expect him to go too deep into the game. Just hope for health, modest effectiveness, and a decent overall outing.

Julio Borbon gets the start in center against the lefty, and leads off, which is probably as much about just keeping everyone else in their normal slots (and the lack of a better leadoff option) as it is about Borbon’s on-base ability against lefties.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (18-25) at Pittsburgh Pirates (26-18), 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.

Game Tickets

If you’re looking for Chicago Cubs tickets for this or another series, you can use that TiqIQ link there for the secondary market. There are also some available on Cubs.com.

Starting Pitchers

Matt Garza (0-0, -.– ERA)

versus

Wandy Rodriguez (4-2, 3.25 ERA, 3.56 K/BB)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Jose Tabata, LF

2. Neil Walker, 2B

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Garrett Jones, RF

5. Russell Martin, C

6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

7. Gaby Sanchez, 1B

8. Clint Barmes, SS

9. Wandy Rodriguez, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Julio Borbon, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Scott Hairston, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Cody Ransom, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Matt Garza, P

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Is it just me, or does Wandy always kill the Cubs?

    • Cyranojoe

      Not tonight!

      ???

    • willis

      Nope, it isn’t just you. I hate going up against that dude.

  • fromthemitten

    huh, so much for Castro as the leadoff hitter vs. lefties experiment

  • baseballet

    I hope enough time has passed that the Pirates have forgotten that Garza gets the yips when the throws to first base. No bunting you Pirates.

  • http://bleachernation allen

    Everywhere else I’ve looked has soriano starting and not Sweeney. Was soriano a late scratch?

  • Zogie

    Is Sweeney or Sori starting in LF?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Just a typo on my part – it’s Soriano.

    • Cyranojoe

      Cubs’ Twitter and website have Sori.

  • mudge

    Alfonso Sweeney

  • mudge

    Speed at the top? What is this, 1964?

  • Jason

    Scott Hairston and your $5 mil a season please go away.

    • Cyranojoe

      Scott Hairston and your $5 mil a season please heat up to incredible temperatures and blow away the competition, resulting in an awesome Trade Deadline deal by which the Cubs absolutely pick the pockets of some desperate team (please OH PLEASE let it be the Cardinals!) to get an awesome prospect or two… and then, Scott, you may go away as you please. ;-)

      Fixed that for you!

    • Carew

      I thought it was $5 million total…

      • Cyranojoe

        You’re right, it’s 2 years, $5 mil.

  • Rebuilding

    Baez draws a walk in his 1st at-bat tonight

    • Cyranojoe

      Noice.

    • DarthHater

      Now that he has finally turned it around, I guess we can expect to see him in Wrigley soon. :-P

    • Kyle

      I want so badly for this “click” to be real.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Why do cherry red sodas and Mister Jimmy come to mind all of a sudden?

  • Die hard

    Wonder how Cubs AA lineup with Soler would do against tonites?

  • Cyranojoe

    Today I read an article on SI.com that seemed to imply that “patient” hitting was a dead end strategy — they suggested it was a cause of the very low offense output we’ve seen in the majors this year and recently, where batters give up first strikes and don’t swing at 2-1 and 3-0 fastballs in an attempt to force increased pitch counts. It was just an insinuation, no data mentioned, but I was wondering what the esteemed members of the BN community think of this idea…?

  • Die hard

    Why do I dread him being lifted in 4th with stiffness blister or some other ailment which at least wil give scouts in stands excuse to leave so can catch end of extended happy hour across town ?

  • Rebuilding

    Nice catch, Borbon! I have a feeling DeJesus doesn’t get to that one

  • willis

    Got to watch that pitch count, but all in all, it wasn’t bad.

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Garza picks up the bat and continues the tradition of Cubs pitchers inexplicably helping themselves out immensely.

    • KidCubbie

      What’s gotten into the pitchers lately? Guess they are not content to leave it up to our hitters. It’s fun to watch that’s for sure.

  • Drew7

    Fangraphs had a great article addressing that piece.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-myth-of-the-passive-hitter/#more-124665

    Seemed like really lazy writing on Verducci’s part. Basically looking at first-pitch swing rates and strikeouts, then drawing a premature conclusion. Correlation, causation, and all that…

    • Drew7

      Oops – should be a reply to CJ’s post.

      • Rich H

        I think that it is a dinosaur that wrote the piece and he thinks that Dusty Baker and his clog the base path idea is genius.—– that is what I was going to write before I thought that I should actually read the article first. Now that you told me it is from Verducci I am glad I did not waste time looking it up.

      • Cyranojoe

        Yay, intelligently analyzed stats! Thanks, Drew.

  • Freshness21

    That hit in the 5th helps save us from any “you can’t take him out with a no-no going” discussion thankfully.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Wow Rondon and Russell just fucked us..and now Camp will give them the lead

  • Cedlandrum

    Good thing we kept him.

    • Cyranojoe

      Wow. Good god our bullpen.

  • KidCubbie

    Should have DFA’d Camp.

  • Danny Ballgame

    Jesus man. Get someone out!!!

  • Jason P

    How long is it going to take this front office to realize Camp has nothing left? He is freaking awful, and there’s no reason to believe he will get any better.

    37 year olds who throw 86 mph fastballs tend to get hit very, very hard.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    What do I win?? ..told ya Camp sucks…grand slam with 2 outs!!! What a piece of shit!!

  • mudge

    Is there any person reading this who wouldn’t have put in Villenueva to pitch the 6th and let him finish the game? Anyone?

    • Danny Ballgame

      I was thinking the same thing. Keep him fresh for extended innings and, maybe, win a fucking ballgame

  • Deacon

    Yep, definitely proved Jedstein right to keep journeyman Camp over Bowden. Maybe we are trying to throw the games!

  • Kenster

    Why couldn’t you just leave Russell in!! He can face righties too! What an idiot…

  • Ben (BG2383)

    Camp is Muff Cabbage :(
    Why the hell did Bowden get the boot and Camp get to stay?

  • koyiehillsucks2

    camp just showed why he should of been dfa’d…

  • http://bleachernation.com therealPattyP

    is it the bullpen or is it Dale Sveum? Don’t tell me for one second that this Pirate team is better than the Cubs

    • Jason P

      Meanwhile Camps still out there. He’s been firing up 86mph meatballs all inning

    • willis

      Sveum. Dude is the worst in game manager I have ever seen. We’ve seen very bad teams over the years. But this one isn’t that bad, it just has an idiot leading them. His in game decisions are insane.

  • Jason P

    Why can’t we just do what the nationals did a few years ago when they sucked and dfa half our bullpen

    Rodon hasn’t regained his pre-injury velo. Camp is done. Marmol’s a disaster waiting to happen. Those 3 should be gone.

    • MikeL

      Then you haven’t seen many managers.

      • Jason P

        I don’t really understand your comment, but we really don’t have much to lose.

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