Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

pnc parkThe Chicago Cubs beat the Pirates yesterday in convincing fashion, notching 12 runs on a massive 18 hits.

A repeat would be swell.

Taking the ball for the Cubs is right-handed veteran John Lackey who is expected to be making his last start of the regular season. Last time out, Lackey pitched very well against the Reds, allowing just two earned runs on five hits and a walk in his seven innings of work. This will be his fifth start since coming back from the disabled list, so another healthy solid start will put any playoff concerns (health-wise) firmly in the past.

Opposing Lackey and the Cubs is an even older veteran, Ryan Vogelsong. Vogelsong has made 12 starts this season for the Pirates, amassing 72.1 innings pitched and a 4.85 ERA in the process. His last start came against the Brewers, where he lasted 4.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits (including a homer) and two walks against seven strikeouts. He hasn’t been able to get out of the fifth inning four straight starts and hasn’t pitched six full innings since August 21.

If the Cubs are going to reach 101 wins on the strength of another offensive outburst, tonight might be the night. First pitch is at 6:05 CT.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (100-56) at Pittsburgh Pirates Braves (77-79), 6:05 CT on CSN-C, 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 hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: John Lackey (R): 3.56 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 4.29 xFIP; 2.73 K/BB


Pirates: Ryan Vogelsong (R): 4.85 ERA, 5.04 FIP, 4.89 xFIP; 1.72 K/BB

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup:

1. John Jaso, 1B

2. Gregory Polanco, LF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Jung-Ho Kang, 3B

5. John Joyce, RF

6. Sean Rodriguez, 2B

7. Francisco Cervelli, C

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. Ryan Vogelsong, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Chris Coghlan, RF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Ben Zobrist, LF

5. Miguel Montero, C

6. Tommy La Stella, 3B

7. Javy Baez, SS

8. Munenori Kawasaki, 2B

9. John Lackey, P

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