Cubs vs. Pirates Preview, Thursday 5/23, 11:35 CT: Lunchtime!

Joe Sargent

The Cubs and Pirates will play while you're eating lunch. Try not to let this destroy your appetite.

Here, in case this series hasn't depressed you enough, I have worse news: three times this year, the Cubs have dropped the first two games of a three-game series. Each time, they got swept (by the Braves in Atlanta, the Brewers in Milwaukee and the Reds in Cincinnati).

Maybe this one will be different.

Remember when the Cubs had played no "blowout" games (decided by 5 or more runs)? Now they have six of those -- with a 4-2 record, while their record in one-run games is 6-12. Four of the last five Cubs games have been decided by one run, all losses. Obviously, the solution is to start hitting and blow the other team out. Easier said than done, I know.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Schierholtz RF, Castillo C, Valbuena 3B, Barney 2B, Jackson P

At least this lineup has been part of winning games before.

Pirates lineup:

Marte LF, Snider RF, McCutchen CF, Jones 1B, Walker 2B, McKenry C, Alvarez 3B, Barmes SS, Gomez  P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Edwin Jackson

Edwin Jackson


vs. Jeanmar Gomez

Jeanmar Gomez


vs. Pit


vs. Cubs

2013 - Edwin Jackson 1-6 9 9 0 0 0 0 50.0 55 37 32 5 21 46 5.76 1.52

2013 - Jeanmar Gomez 2-0 9 4 0 0 0 0 32.1 25 12 10 5 14 19 2.78 1.21

Edwin Jackson threw five not-great, but not-awful, innings against the Pirates April 3 in Pittsburgh. You all know about his mostly-down season, but he's been somewhat better in May (4.76 ERA) than in April (6.27). Yes, I know that's not much to go on. Jackson's been a better pitcher than this for most of his career. You figure he has to get better sometime. Now would be a good time.

Jeanmar Gomez has never faced the Cubs; just two Cubs (David DeJesus, 0-for-4 and Ryan Sweeney, 2-for-3) have ever seen him. Insert "you know what happens in these situations" wordage here. Clearly, we are doomed.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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