pnc parkThe Chicago Cubs head to Pittsburgh, most recently the site of a tremendous triumph.

A win tonight won’t quite match the Wild Card Game win, but it sure would be neat.

To make it happen, the Cubs’ll likely need a great outing from Jason Hammel, something he’s done consistently so far this season. Eventually he’s going to give up a home run, so that sub-1.00 ERA won’t last forever. But, in the meantime, here’s hoping he can give the Cubs a quality start, and a chance to beat Gerrit Cole.

… who is very good, by the way. I know fans are just coming off of a game in which they saw Julio Teheran dominate the offense (a very good offense), so if there are struggles tonight against Cole, I suspect there will be some residual grumbling. Don’t let yourself go there. One game has very little to do with the other, and sometimes the opposing pitcher is just dang good at pitching.



The Cubs’ lineup tonight features Matt Szczur and Tommy La Stella, each of whom got special mention in the Series Preview for killing it so far this year, in place of Jason Heyward and Jorge Soler. So, then, the Cubs have quite a bench available to them tonight (I didn’t even mention Javy Baez).

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (17-6) at Pittsburgh Pirates (15-10), 6:05 CT on CSN, MLBN, ESPN, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jason Hammel (R): 0.75 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 3.95 xFIP; 2.44 K/BB

versus

Pirates: Gerrit Cole (R): 2.78 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 3.53 xFIP; 3.17 K/BB



Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. John Jaso, 1B

2. Andrew McCutchen, CF

3. David Freese, 3B

4. Starling Marte, LF

5. Francisco Cervelli, C

6. Gregory Polanco, RF

7. Josh Harrison, 2B

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. Gerrit Cole, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Tommy La Stella, 3B

3. Kris Bryant, LF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Addison Russell, SS

7. Matt Szczur, RF

8. David Ross, C

9. Jason Hammel, P


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