Cubs vs. Pirates Preview, Friday 6/7, 1:20 CT: Back To Major-League Baseball

USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs are in a stretch of playing 12 of 14 games at Wrigley Field. And, the draft will continue Friday (there's a separate thread going for this).

While there are still many rounds to go in this year's draft of amateur talent, and I'm sure many of you are focused on the players being selected to be part of the Cubs' future, the current big-league Cubs return to Wrigley Field to begin a seven-game homestand against divisional rivals, first, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Regarding the Cubs' first-round choice of Kris Bryant Thursday night: I'm very, very happy with this pick. Bryant appears to have confidence without being cocky, has tremendous talent, could remain at third base (where the Cubs have a real need), and might be in the major leagues as soon as next year. For those of you who wanted Jonathan Gray (after the Astros took Mark Appel with the No. 1 choice), I recommend that you read this Grantland article, written more than a year ago but still cogent, about someone we're quite familiar with. Remember: TINSTAAPP.

Cubs lineup:

Barney 2B, Ransom 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Hairston RF, Castillo C, Castro SS, Sweeney CF, Wood P

Same lineup that the Cubs used vs. the LHP Jason Vargas in Anaheim. Who knows? Maybe it'll work again.

The Pirates lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Pirates lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood

Travis Wood


Cubs

vs. Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano


Pirates

vs. Pit

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Travis Wood 5-3 14 11 0 0 0 0 72.0 49 23 22 5 24 50 2.75 1.01


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Francisco Liriano 3-2 5 5 0 0 0 0 29.0 26 7 7 0 9 39 2.17 1.21

Travis Wood's first start of this season was against the Pirates, April 4 in Pittsburgh. He gave up just one hit in six shutout innings. Wood has been the team's most consistent starter all year, and if he keeps up this level of performance, could find himself on the N.L. All-Star team. He is going today on six days' rest, his longest of the year, due to the two off days this week and a rotation swap with Matt Garza.

Francisco Liriano threw seven shutout innings against the Cubs May 22 in Pittsburgh. Since then he has had one not-so-great outing (against the Tigers) and one really good one (against the Reds). The only Cubs who had hits off Liriano in that May 22 game were Cody Ransom and Welington Castillo, both singles. Perhaps being at home will bring the Cubs better results. (I'm reaching, I know.

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.

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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