October Baseball Comes To Chicago: Cubs vs. Pirates Preview, Thursday 10/1, 7:05 CT

Not the kind of October baseball we wanted, of course, but here it is October and the Cubs are still playing baseball. As I said yesterday, enjoy it while it's here... because you know you'll miss it over the winter.

Bruce Miles has the story behind the "With Reed We Will Succeed" T-shirt that Ted Lilly wore during the post-game 1 press conference yesterday:

"The story behind the shirt is I was given that shirt from one of the flight attendants," Reed said. "I guess one of their family members...they live in the suburbs and have a Reed Johnson fan club or whatever. They gave me that shirt. I didn’t have enough guts to put it on myself or even give it to one of my family members. Ted wears anything, so I just gave it to Ted."

Johnson said he’d love to come back next year.

"Oh, yeah, for sure," he said. "It’s a great organization. It’s the best two years of my career (that) have been spent here. Hopefully, I continue to be successful here."

I'd like Reed back too -- his only trouble has been staying healthy, and the foot injury this year was unfortunate, since his back was giving him fewer problems this year than last. He sounds like he'd take a little less money to stay than to go to free agency. To coin a phrase, "GETITDONEJIM!!!!1!!!1"

Speaking of upcoming Cub free agents, Kevin Gregg says he wants to stay and close in 2010. Response from me: no thanks.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Jeff Samardzija
Jeff Samardzija
Cubs
vs. Paul Maholm
Paul Maholm
Pirates
1-3 W-L 8-9
7.53 ERA 4.44
21 SO 119
15 BB 60
7 HR 14
vs. Pit -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Jeff Samardzija 1-3 20 2 0 0 0 0 34.2 46 29 29 7 15 21 7.53 1.76


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Paul Maholm 8-9 31 31 0 0 0 0 194.2 221 102 96 14 60 119 4.44 1.44

The Cubs beat Paul Maholm pretty good at Wrigley Field on May 25. (Goofy-looking lineup that day, too.) Both So Taguchi (7-for-17) and Reed Johnson (5-for-9) have hit Maholm well in the past. Lifetime against the Cubs he has a 7.06 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in nine career starts spanning 51 innings, but somehow has managed to post a 4-1 won-lost record.

Jeff Samardzija has four career relief appearances vs. the Pirates without allowing a run; this will be his first start against them. Current Pirates have ten AB vs. Jeff (three hits). This is an important appearance for the Shark to set a good tone for his possible inclusion in the mix for the 2010 rotation (or bullpen).

Today's game is again cable-only; CSN Chicago. There is no Pittsburgh TV, so you'll see Len & Bob on EI. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout.

Overflow comment threads will post again today at 8:15 and 9:15 pm CDT, although last night's were pretty sparsely attended.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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