Series Preview: Cubs v. Pirates, September 12 – September 14, 2014

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Series Preview: Cubs v. Pirates, September 12 – September 14, 2014

Chicago Cubs

pittsburgh-piratesWell, the Cubs just got swept by the Pirates and Blue Jays, but at least they get to face different …

Oh. Pirates again. Neat.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs have lost six in a row, and they’ve done it in fairly ugly fashion, too. I checked in on the standings yesterday.

After sweeping the Cubs, the Pirates took three of four from the Phillies. They’ve got quite the generous schedule down the stretch, so they will have a real shot of catching up to the Cardinals in the NL Central, whom they trail by 2.5 games. They currently hold the second Wild Card spot by 1.5 games over the Brewers.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, September 12 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, September 13 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, September 14 at 12:35 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.


Starters: Tsuyoshi Wada (2.95 ERA, 3.85 FIP; 3.07 K/BB), Felix Doubront (2.25 ERA, 3.04 FIP; 1.64 K/BB), Jacob Turner (5.31 ERA, 3.91 FIP; 2.75 K/BB)


  1. Chris Coghlan, LF
  2. Javier Baez, SS
  3. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  4. Jorge Soler, RF
  5. Welington Castillo, C
  6. Arismendy Alcantara, CF
  7. Mike Olt, 1B
  8. Logan Watkins, 2B
  9. Pitcher


Starters: Gerrit Cole (3.89 ERA, 3.50 FIP; 2.84 K/BB), Jeff Locke (3.60 ERA, 4.12 FIP; 2.44 K/BB), Edinson Volquez (3.36 ERA, 4.35 FIP; 1.92 K/BB)


  1. Josh Harrison, 3B
  2. Andrew Lambo/Travis Snider, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Neil Walker, 2B
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Ike Davis, 1B
  7. Starling Marte, LF
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Unfortunately for Tsuyoshi Wada and Felix Doubront, they’ll be making their second consecutive start against the Pirates, which can be a tough thing to do. Jacob Turner didn’t face the Pirates last time out, but he did get slapped around a bit by the Blue Jays in Toronto.

There is a chance that Anthony Rizzo could return at some point this series. Just a chance.

Since July 19, Welington Castillo is hitting .256/.317/.429, which would make him solidly above average over the last couple months. And, for a catcher, that would be way above average.

Given his team’s playoff run and his gaudy numbers (.310/.402/.538), Andrew McCutchen will have a shot at another MVP this year, especially if Giancarlo Stanton’s season is over and if voters don’t want to give the award to a pitcher.

Jordy Mercer is hitting .310/.341/.667 over his last 11 games, and much of that damage came against the Cubs last week.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.