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wrigley field from right bleachersAh, the old April night game at Wrigley. In my experience, they are two things: fun if you’re with friends, and very cold.

Edwin Jackson and Charlie Morton square off again in an outing that most probably hope won’t once again go 16 innings. If the Cubs plan to win it in 9, they’ll need the lefty-heavy lineup – the one that struggled against Morton last time, but dominated A.J. Burnett this weekend – to fare well. I know, I know, Lake-Olt-Grr, but this is the right approach for now, not only in general, but against a righty hard sinker guy like Morton. As I wrote last time against Morton:

Speaking of which: Morton’s career splits are staggering. Righties have hit just .251/.316/.345, whereas lefties have hit 327/.410/.497 off of him.

You stack the lineup with lefties against a guy like that. You just do.

As for Edwin Jackson, here’s hoping he doesn’t suffer from having to face the Pirates two games in a row.

Game Info

Pittsburgh Pirates (4-2) at Chicago Cubs (2-4), 7:05 CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. 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 lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Charlie Morton (0.00 ERA, 2.12 FIP, 2.52 xFIP; 6.00 K/BB)

versus

Edwin Jackson (1.69 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 4.73 xFIP; 1.25 K/BB)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Starling Marte, LF

2. Travis Snider, RF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

5. Russell Martin, C

6. Neil Walker, 2B

7. Travis Ishikawa, 1B

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. Charlie Morton, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

2. Ryan Kalish, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Luis Valbuena, 3B

6. Starlin Castro, SS

7. Ryan Sweeney, CF

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Edwin Jackson, P

  • COWA

    Rizzo is due for a ding dong dilly of a dinger

  • ssckelley

    That’s just nasty!

    • WilliamGlass721

      That would have been ball one if it was us pitching.

      • ssckelley

        Prophetic

  • SomebodyYouUsedToKnow

    Bye bye ricky

  • COWA

    Hmmm. Thai singles or Filipino Cupid?

    • SomebodyYouUsedToKnow

      Stephanie has been sending me friend requests for years now.

  • Jason P

    (Not so) Happy.

  • ssckelley

    I like what RR did there.

    • WilliamGlass721

      I am surprised it didn’t happen sooner!

      • ssckelley

        But he was right, the ump called that same pitch a strike on Castillo.

      • BlameHendry

        What happened? I can only follow on game day right now and all I know is he got ejected, but what did he do?

        • WilliamGlass721

          We got this!

  • Alan Griffin

    Bout time he threw that change! Good showing.

  • BlameHendry

    I am so sick of Edwin Jackson and our bullpen. If I had enough money I would personally pay off the rest of Jackson’s contract of they agreed to release him. And I just don’t understand why our bullpen is even in the majors at all if they literally cannot throw a ball in the strikezone if their life depended on it.

    • Kyle

      Our bullpen has been amazing this year, and went 4.1 IP with 1 ER, which is pretty good.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Yeah, if the bullpen gave up just one run every 4.1 innings the rest of the season, I think I’d be pretty happy.

  • COWA

    Lake seems to really pick up the ball early.

  • COWA

    I think Kslish should do a surprise bunt

  • Jason P

    That’s what sucks about playing the Pirates.

    • SomebodyYouUsedToKnow

      We could use a couple relievers like theirs..

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        You want to say that tonight? They gave up 1 run in 3 innings. We did better.

  • spearman

    We have to learn how to win some of these games. That’s how you build confidence.

  • Kyle

    A non-exhaustive list of people who suck:

    Jackson, Russell, Renteria, Castillo, Lake, Olt, Kalish.

    • Jason P

      Castillo missed a home run in one of his ABs by about 3 ft.

      • Kyle

        How many moral victory points is that worth?

        Also he’s killing our pitchers with his pitch-framing. We’re never going to get a close call, not even one, for as long as he catches for us.

        • Jason P

          And with his pitch-blocking and cannon arm, his defense on the aggregate is probably neutral.

          I’m not saying he’s the next Yadier Molina or anything, but considering his offense is above average for a catcher, we could definitely do worse.

          • Kyle

            He sucks.

            And I’m not willing to write his offense down in pen just yet.

            • Jason P

              .312

              That’s the wOBA Castillo has to beat to be above average for a catcher. I’ll write that in pen.

              • Kyle

                I think there’s a serious chance he comes under that in the upcoming future.

                • ssckelley

                  Your down on Castillo all because someone convinced you tonight he struggles to frame pitches?

                  You realize that pitch framing does not have a huge bearing on the game? I believe I read something like 1.5 strikes per game?

                  • Kyle

                    I’ve always been down on Castillo’s offense.

                    But 1.5 strikes per game is a ton.

    • J. L.

      Why Renteria, Kyle?

  • Medicos

    A former prominent scout for the Montreal Expos once told me that all teams win 60- games and lose 60-games. iI’s what a team does during the other 42-games that decides if a season is successful.

    Our Cubbies have now played at 5-games decided by 2 or less runs with a record of 1-4. The better teams win the majority of these close and the Cubs certainly ain’t 1 of those teams.

    • Kyle

      That’s a stupid saying and I’m glad the Expos are gone if they once employed someone who said it.

      • Jason P

        Lol

    • Cubbie Blues

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/CFXCdW4.gif[/img]

  • ssckelley

    Bullpen has been solid so far this season, no complaints there. But the turning point for me was when Jackson did not get that called third strike on Marte in the 4th inning. It started a 2 out rally and they gave up the lead. It was a very good pitch and you could see it shook up Jackson.

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    And once again, we go down without style… bust positives:

    Castro: 310/333/533
    Rizzo: big base hit in a key situation to tie the game

    This was a good game for the offense. Not so much for the pitching.

  • Medicos

    Kyle—- why is 60W—60L with 42 games left. a stupid saying. It’s true—every team year after year does wins at least 60 and loses at least 60 and it’s what occurs in those other 42 that determines failure or success. think about it.

    • Voice of Reason

      No, its a stupid saying.

    • Kyle

      Well, beyond the many deeper reasons that it’s stupid, it’s not even literally true. Quite a few teams have won or lost fewer than 60.

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