Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley outfieldYou may have thought the Cubs’ recent skid – the one that preceded the four-game sweep of the Mets this week – started with that ugly series against the Brewers at Wrigley Field at the start of May. But it actually started two days before that, in the final game of the series against the Pirates, when the Cubs flopped against Gerrit Cole.

The Cubs aren’t facing Cole today – that comes tomorrow – but they do send out the same man who was on the mound for that one, Kyle Hendricks. Over five innings that day, Hendricks struck out six, but he walked three and gave up five hits. Still, the Pirates managed just two earned runs, and it wasn’t a terrible outing.

Hopefully Hendricks can improve upon it slightly, and keep the Cubs’ party going.

Against the lefty, Jeff Locke, the Cubs once again sport a righty-heavy lineup, including Welington Castillo behind the plate. This is the Cubs’ third time in less than a month seeing Locke, who’ll really have to change things up to succeed – the last two times, the Cubs made him work, and got him out of the game early. Especially in the first game of a series, you’d love to see the Cubs do that again.

Game Info

Pittsburgh Pirates (17-18) at Chicago Cubs (19-15), 1:20 CT on CSN, MLBN and

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jeff Locke (4.71 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 3.89 xFIP; 2.36 K/BB)


Kyle Hendricks (4.65 ERA, 3.98 FIP, 4.20 xFIP; 2.88 K/BB)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Gregory Polanco, RF

2. Neil Walker, 2B

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Starling Marte, LF

5. Jung-Ho Kang, SS

6. Pedro Alvarez, 1B

7. Josh Harrison, 3B

8. Francisco Cervelli, C

9. Jeff Locke, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

3. Kris Bryant, 3B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Welington Castillo, C

6. Jorge Soler, RF

7. Matt Szczur, LF

8. Kyle Hendricks, P

9. Addison Russell, 2B

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