wrigley stands crowdThe Cubs have their first losing streak of the year and it’s reached epic heights (2).

Today, the second place Pittsburgh Pirates will look to redeem themselves after being swept by these very Cubs at PNC Park just over a week ago.

In game one, however, Jason Hammel will look to stomp all over those dreams by continuing his hot start to the Cubs season (for the third consecutive year). He’ll be pitching to David Ross, who may be starting a game behind the plate for someone other than Jon Lester for the last time in a while (assuming/hoping that Miguel Montero will indeed return from the DL tomorrow).

Jorge Soler draws another start in left field, despite a poor showing over the past few weeks that culminated in a 1-8 performance (4Ks) on Wednesday. Addison Russell gets back in there, though, and he’s been blisteringly hot over the past couple of weeks. As I wrote earlier, this may be the beginning of his true offensive breakout.

The Cubs will square up against lefty starter Francisco Liriano. Liriano hasn’t gotten off to an entirely great start to the season (3.60 ERA, 4.51 FIP), but he has consistently given the Cubs’ bats headaches over the past couple years. Hopefully, they can get something going and start the weekend off right!



Game Info

Pittsburg Pirates (18-15) at Chicago Cubs (25-8), 1:20 CT on WGN, 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): 1.85 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 4.37 xFIP; 2.00 K/BB

versus

Pirates: Francisco Liriano: (L): 3.60 ERA, 4.51 FIP, 3.86 xFIP; 2.05 K/BB



Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. John Jaso, 1B

2. Andrew McCutchen, CF

3. Gregory Polanco, RF

4. Starling Marte, LF

5. Francisco Cervelli, C

6. Jung-Ho Kang, 3B

7. Josh Harrison, 2B

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. Francisco Liriano, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Jorge Soler, LF

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. David Ross, C

9. Jason Hammel, P




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