wrigley field from right bleachersNow that the Cubs aren’t facing Francisco Liriano, maybe they can actually do something against the Pirates.

They’ll need some help from Edwin Jackson, who looked like he was putting it together before a reappearance of some struggles.

The lineup is once again a bit wonky, with Luis Valbuena ceding the leadoff spot to Julio Borbon, and Anthony Rizzo returning to the three-hole in place of Nate Schierholtz, who falls all the way to sixth.

Game Info

Pittsburgh Pirates (53-32) at Chicago Cubs (36-48), 3:05 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

Charlie Morton (1-1, 2.50 ERA, 3.57 FIP)


Edwin Jackson (4-10, 5.75 ERA, 3.79 FIP)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Starling Marte, LF

2. Neil Walker, 2B

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Garrett Jones, 1B

5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

6. Michael McKenry, C

7. Jose Tabata, RF

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. Charlie Morton, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Julio Borbon, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Luis Valbuena, 3B

6. Nate Schierholtz, RF

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Edwin Jackson, P

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    I’ll be on The Score with Ben Finfer at 12:40 CT (15 minutes) if anyone’s hanging out and wants to kill a few minutes. It’s AM 670 and you can listen here online: http://betaplayer.radio.com/player/670-the-score/

    • Mr. Gonzo

      Well done sir

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      Great job Brett. You came off like a true professional.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Valbuena in the 5 hole?

  • curt

    Nice interview on the score wtg .

  • mudge

    great spot, Brett, & props from Finfer. looking for a great start from Jackson.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Thanks, gents. Love doing those.

  • Die hard

    Castro must have a no bench clause in contract

    • TOOT

      FO cries everytime they look at the contract.

  • Tom A.

    Difficult to look at a lineup and know that four or five of the players will be gone by next season.

    • Cyranojoe

      Other than Borbon, I wouldn’t bet money on any of the others being gone from the major league team.

      • Tom A.

        Then they will not compete until 2015 !

        • DarthHater

          So if they get rid of the players, you’ll bitch because they’re getting rid of the players, and if they keep them, you’ll bitch because they’re keeping them. Okay, I think I’ve got it now.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yup that seems to be the new model of commenting… Just complain about something.

          • mudge

            Always glad to provide mocking fodder.

          • Tom A.

            You never see me complain about trades or changes. I observed that this line-up is not exciting and that 4 or 5 could be gone by next season.

            Cryanojoe said maybe only Borbon gone and I responded then not good until 2015.

            Go back to your nap now MiGoat !

            • Tom A.

              Sorry I guess comment should be to Mr. Hater.

              • DarthHater

                That’s Mr. Hater, sir, to you. 😛

                • Tom A.


  • Oswego chris

    Out running some errands and I get to hear Brett and some Blachawks talk…nice

    • sven-erik312

      Regards from Sweden Chris,
      The Blackhawks even got some media over here. I think they have 4 or 5 players from here on the team. When the Cubs get to the World Series, I’ll be over on the first plane I can catch. But, I still don’t see them competitive until 2016 or 2017. That’s 4 to 5 years after the 2012 draft.

  • @cubsfantroy

    This lineup doesn’t sound to bad.

    • Tom A.

      WOW. Really ?

      Borbon leading off and Valbuena 5th ???

      Zero protection for Soriano and he will see nothing good today.

      Maybe this is a new thought, put guys in 1 and 2 hole that don’t get on base.

      Dale seems desperate for anything or just makes lineups pulling names from a hat.

      • Die hard

        Can’t be from a hat unless 2 hole not included

      • mudge

        Soriano’s got a condom in his back pocket.

      • @cubsfantroy

        I’m trying to be positive.

  • Deacon

    Just thought I should share the following I read on a Dodger Blog (so it MUST be true). Ricky Nolasco is better than Matt Garza and neither is worth more than a pitching prospect who has already failed enough this year to show they won’t amount to much at the major league level:

    • Die hard

      Best argument for letting Garza play out the string until FA

  • rockin’ dawg

    Len and JD missed a perfect opportunity. Instead of saying Marte is going to have a stiff neck tomorrow, they should have said “he’s going to wake up Sunday morning with no way to hold his head that doesn’t hurt.”

  • willis

    Runner on 3rd, no one out, and he won’t score. Jesus Christ this team.

  • Die hard

    I guess we can look forward to Cubs being spoilers in Sept… Crumbs

  • Ryan

    Great job of hitting by our 2-4 hitters there! Worthless

    • TOOT

      We have hitters?

    • Jeff

      This team sucks when it comes to hitting. So if today is bitch away day, I’m not so sure what to bitch at, the hitters, a lack of proper coaching of our hitters or a front office who put this shitty roster together.

      • TOOT

        You can bitch at all of the personnel, they are are all responsible for this “thing” that is trying to resemble a MLB team.

      • MichiganGoat

        Here’s the best idea just bitch about EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING POSSIBLE.

        • Jeff

          Especially the goat….after all it’s the Goats fault!!!

    • TWC

      Our 2-4 hitters so far are 3-for-9 today w/ 2 HR and 4 RBI, you myopic twit. Maybe ease off on the SKY IS FALLING hyperbole until they’re out of the second inning.

      • Jeff

        Yep, 3 for 9. That’s one hit by Rizzo and 2 by Soriano. When they are 6 for 9, then we can stop bitching…Castro still looks awful at the plate

        • TWC

          Well, that’s totally reasonable.

          • Jeff

            I think what has really hurt us is the lack of a true #3 hitter, I like Rizzo better in the 5 spot. It would change this lineup significantly if we could find a true #3 hitter.

            Bitchers bitch because of their pussy’s….sorry Me, stop bitching at us bitchers

        • Me

          3/9 = 333 Average I will take that today. Some of you need to stop bitching all the time. You sound like a bunch of pussy’s

          • mudge

            Me and Jeff have both misspelled “pussies.”

            • Me

              LOL, As I wrote it I wondered not a word I use in my writing all the time but seems appropriate for the situation.

  • http://bleachernation.com therealPattyP

    Moving Darwin Barney up a spot is just the tonic the Cubs need. His super scrappiness plays way better in the 7 spot.

    • TOOT

      I’m sure the s in front of the c in scrappineess was a typo.

  • curt

    and darth you’ll bitch about them bitching , ok got it now. Lol

    • DarthHater

      Glad you put “lol” there. I almost forgot to laugh.

  • DarthHater

    I’m grateful that so many people here spend so much effort scrutinizing the daily batting order, because studies show that batting order is one of the major determinants of team success.

  • willis

    Baez hitting third tonight right out of the shoot for Tennessee. Welcome to AA son. Can’t wait to see how he does.

    • Jp3

      Yeah that’s awesome to see they are confident what kind of hitter they’re getting. Nice seeing there are 4 hitters on that team in the double a All-star game

      • willis

        Dude that lineup is SICK now. 1-7 all can rake. I can’t wait to see them live next week.

  • Die hard

    2014 will be worse cause Soriano a yr older and hard to believe slower… Can’t see daylight until 2016

  • Jeff

    Sitting here watching this game, I barely get that this is the one hitter Jackson needs to worry about out of my mouth only a split second before Jackson throws him that cookie down the middle…ugh

  • nkniacc13

    Starting to look like Nolasco to LAD for 3 low prospects. Anyone else notice Balt and Sea traded IFA $ today

    • Tobias

      I wonder how much this potential Nolasco trade has a market effect on Garza’s trade value?

    • Me

      That’s great for us, Still leaves the teams with the top prospects to trade Garza to.

  • willis

    BABOOM!! That was a blast.

  • http://Bleachernation Jay

    Soriano value increasing?? A little DHing has gotten him right on track. I can’t imagine an AL team not wanting him as a part-time OF/DH.

    • Jeff

      Agreed, perfect timing for a Soriano hot streak…if we have any chance of trading him, we need him to continue this hot hitting.

    • Cyranojoe

      Can you imagine his career if he’d been with an AL team ~7 years ago?

  • David

    That was the best rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame ever.

    • Mr. Brent Kennedy

      Look up Jeff Mauro’s rendition from sometime I believe this May. It was brilliant. Although, I’m Italian, so I may be biased.

  • willis

    Well, for anyone who was excited to watch the Smokies game, Kirk is doing his best to have the game be over after the top of the first. Ouch, 5 batters faced, 4 singles and a walk. Still none out.

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

    Real nice job by Guerrier. Hope to see more of that!

    • willis

      He’s looked pretty good as has Strop since the trades. Nice to see. Hopefully they can keep it up.

  • Tobias

    Congrats to Travis Wood on his first All-Star game.

  • willis

    LOL Baez. First AB he goes yard.

    • chirogerg

      And it was a skyball

  • chirogerg

    Nice pick in the field by Baez

  • cubzforlife

    Sort of like Castro’s first Game in Cincinnati.

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