Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Preview, Wednesday 7/25, 11:35 CT

Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is greeted at home plate by Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano after Castro hit a solo homerun against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
NOTE: This preview was originally supposed to post at 10 a.m. CT, but given the news below, I moved it up to 9:30.

Here's all you need to know about the current status of the Ryan-Dempster-to-the-Braves possible deal:

So, the Braves move on, and the Cubs and Dempster will have to move on as well. I suppose this could be posturing on Frank Wren's part, but I doubt it. If Dempster's going to be traded before next Tuesday's deadline, it will have to be to the Dodgers. Or maybe the proverbial "mystery team" will jump in. (I doubt any of you saw Hanley Ramirez going to LA before last night. Right?)

In the meantime, Dempster takes the mound for the Cubs for this afternoon's (morning in Chicago) game against the Pirates. Think his mind will be on baseball?

There are a couple of things from Paul Sullivan's game recap from last night that bear mention here:

"I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go," Dempster said, declining to name names. "I'm just trying to look at everything, make the best decision for me and my family."
Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush would not acknowledge a trade to the Braves was under consideration.

When asked if the Cubs were OK with Dempster taking his time on making a decision on a deal, he replied: "Absolutely."
So the Cubs did inform [Dempster] of the proposed deal before he came to the clubhouse Monday?

"Yeah, they told me there was interest," he replied. "They've been really good about (updating me)."

All of that indicates to me that we need to back off a little and not jump to conclusions. There are clearly many things about this situation that we do not know.

There's one more thing I need to say here. There has been a lot of spirited discussion of this topic. However, one thing I will not tolerate is the mountains of profanity that spilled out in some of the threads. You can express yourself passionately without profanity. No more. Thank you.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, LaHair RF, Clevenger C, Valbuena 3B, Barney 2B, Campana LF, Dempster P

Pirates lineup:

Presley LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Jones RF, McGehee 1B, Alvarez 3B, McKenry C, Barmes SS, Correia P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Kevin Correia
Kevin Correia
Pirates
5-4 W-L 7-6
2.11 ERA 4.31
77 SO 46
27 BB 28
7 HR 15
vs. Pit -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Ryan Dempster 5-4 15 15 0 0 0 0 98.0 76 25 23 7 27 77 2.11 1.05


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Kevin Correia 7-6 18 18 0 0 0 0 102.1 104 53 49 15 28 46 4.31 1.29

So, trying to pretend nothing at all is happening around here, Ryan Dempster threw seven very good innings against the Pirates May 25 at PNC Park, but all that got him was a 1-0 Cubs loss. Current Pirates are hitting .309 (51-for-163) against Dempster with six home runs.

Kevin Correia had a very good outing against the Cubs May 26 at PNC Park, but left with the game tied 2-2. You can probably guess what happened after that. Correia gave up a home run to Alfonso Soriano that night (of course, Soriano now has the day off); overall, current Cubs are hitting .298 (28-for-94) off Correia. Geovany Soto and Jeff Baker have also homered off him.

Today's game is on WGN.

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 11:35 a.m. CDT and the overflows at 12:35, 1:35 and 2:20 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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