Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Preview, Saturday 5/26, 6:15 CT

Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez slides safely into home plate past Chicago Cubs catcher Koyie Hill during the second inning at PNC Park. Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

The photo at the top of this post depicts the scoring of a "run".

I am posting this as a public service to both Cubs fans and Pirates fans, since neither fanbase has much experience with witnessing such an event. It happens when a baserunner touches home plate without being tagged out by a fielder from the other team.

Study it hard. You might not see much of it the rest of this series.

You might be wondering why the Cubs and Pirates are one of Fox's choices for "Baseball Night In America", Fox's new Saturday-evening series of games, considering how bad both teams are. The likely answer is a postgame fireworks show scheduled for today -- the Pirates are expecting a near-full house and probably didn't want to give that up and reschedule this for an afternoon time slot (since Fox has exclusivity on their Saturday timeslot).

According to this, about 11% of the USA will see this game. (For the exact markets covered, see the TV info after the jump.) If you're in the other 89%, you might even consider yourself lucky.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus rf, Castro ss, Mather cf, LaHair 1b, Soriano lf, Stewart 3b, Barney 2b, Lalli c, Maholm p

Pirates lineup:

Tabata lf, Harrison rf, McCutchen cf, Alvarez 3b, Walker 2b, Hague 1b, Barajas c, Barmes ss, Correia p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Paul Maholm
Paul Maholm
Cubs
vs. Kevin Correia
Kevin Correia
Pirates
4-3 W-L 1-5
4.73 ERA 4.50
27 SO 16
12 BB 15
9 HR 6
vs. Pit -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Paul Maholm 4-3 8 8 0 0 0 0 45.2 43 24 24 9 12 27 4.73 1.20


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Kevin Correia 1-5 8 8 0 0 0 0 46.0 42 24 23 6 15 16 4.50 1.24

Paul Maholm, obviously, has never faced the Pirates. He has faced three current Pirates: Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes and Casey McGehee. Those three players have combined to go 22-for-52 (.423) against Maholm with four doubles, two triples and three home runs. Clearly, once again, we are doomed.

Kevin Correia made four starts against the Cubs in 2011. Two of them were pretty good and two were pretty bad. Overall, he posted a 7.11 ERA in 19 innings against the Cubs in 2011 and gave up four home runs, but I think you can be reasonably assured that's not reflective of what's going to happen tonight. Current Cubs are hitting .316 (25-for-79) off Correia -- so maybe they can even score a run or two.

As noted above, today's game is on Fox. Here's the coverage map, but it might be quicker to just check this list of markets where the Cubs game is going to be carried:

Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, Quad Cities, LaCrosse WI, Eau Claire WI, Marquette MI, Cedar Rapids, Indianapolis, South Bend, Ft. Wayne, Grand Rapids, Pittsburgh, Erie, Altoona, Clarksburg WV, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma AZ

That's it. That's right, not even Des Moines, home of the Cubs' Triple-A team, is getting this game. Announcers are Kenny Albert and Bob Brenly -- so at least those of us who can see this game can hear Brenly.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:15 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:15, 8:15 and 9 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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