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)


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

  • ssckelley

    Valbuena passed on a hanging breaking pitch.

  • TonyP

    FFS, I wish something would have stopped the Sale that wasn’t a sale. However only an idiot would look at it and not consider it a sale……. Selig???? IRS???? Anyone????

    • TonyP

      That is a rant about the moronic terms of the sale, not Ricketts. Although I blame the them for agreeing to it.

    • Karl Groucho

      “The Sale that wasn’t a Sale” — a children’s book about Chris Sale’s stepbrother, who sadly flamed out in AA.

  • ssckelley

    Tseng looks like he is off to a good start, 3 shutout innings so far and 4 K’s.

    • Karl Groucho

      I’m loving the thought that we could have another top-100 pitching prospect on our hands. Two consensus top-100s, a fringe top-100 or two, and quality depth behind that? 😀

  • JL82

    EJax is such a bum. I’m glad Theo came out and said it was a mistake signing him. I wonder how that makes EJax feel.

    • HislersHero

      When did he say that? I mist have missed it.

      • Jon

        Season ticket holder meeting

        • HislersHero

          Wow, that must have made him feel lime a million bucks. Doubt that he cares, he is still getting paid good money though.

      • JL82

        We’ll be the first ones to tell you: We’re not perfect,” Epstein said. “Given the situation, I think we could have been more patient. We certainly could have been more in line with the plan. That’s what he said about the EJax signing.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    That was an unusually bad at bat for Valbuena.

  • HislersHero

    Same old E-Jax. It is getting hard to try to root for him to right the ship. I realize that his peripherals look good, but that means squat when the results are not there.

  • mjhurdle

    that was an impressive play by Castillo

  • ssckelley

    Lmao, those 2 hits are definitely luck.

  • itzscott

    So much for loading the lineup with LHBs when facing a RHP. The only hit is by a RHB!

  • ssckelley

    That is the correct call, Castro is clearly out off the baseline.

  • COWA

    Not really liking the way Welly is “framing” Jackson. I know Jackson sucks so far but just an observation. lm crushing on Rizzo’s at bats.

  • Los-Cachorros

    How hard can it be to put a bunt down !!!!!!!!!!!

    • ssckelley

      Yep, it might have cost the Cubs a run. I think Castillo scores if he is on 2nd.

    • Drew7

      Pretty hard, actually.

      Where’s Darth with the Moneyball gif?

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


  • ssckelley

    Not liking that bunt attempt by Kalish.

  • mjhurdle

    Nice to see them get at least one out of 2 on nobody out.

  • Jason P

    After getting first and second with no outs we make 2 of our 3 outs with a failed bunt attempt strikeout and a failed bunt for hit that didn’t come close to working. At least we scored, but I really hate trying to bunt for a hit with first and second two outs.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Why the hell did Kalish bunt with two out and two base runners? Was he told to do that or did he do it on his own?

    • Jason P

      I’m sure it was on his own.

    • ssckelley

      I’m sure he did it on his own. I don’t mind bunting for a hit with no one on or just 1 on. But 1st and 2nd with 2 outs? I would rather see him look for something to drive.

  • COWA

    Time to give Kalish a talk. He has no business bunting there. We need him to drive the ball or work the count for a walk. A 2 pitch at bat with Rizzo on deck is stupid.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Bunting with two outs and a runner in scoring position? Are you freakin kidding me! I would sit him down for that.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I guess maybe he thought if he got on base that Rizzo would come up with the bases loaded and take the lead. But this early in the game you need to just get a run.

  • Jason P

    I feel like Nate Schierholtz has hit a lot of balls hard this year. He just doesn’t have the hits to show for it.

  • mjhurdle

    love the bat flip!

  • Jason P

    Fuck yeah!!!

  • Medicos

    Hey!! Hey!!!!

  • ssckelley

    Boom…….Castro crushed it!

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor


  • mjhurdle


  • Alan Griffin

    Take that, haters!

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Hola soy Starlin! New game!

  • Los-Cachorros

    Castro is back!!!!!!

  • twinkletoez

    God that looked good, please more of that this year Castro!