Cubs vs. Pirates Preview, Friday 7/5, 3:05 CT: Schedule Follies

USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs will play their next 10 games in Chicago, though only nine of them at Wrigley Field.

In the preview to Thursday's game I wrote about how the Cubs should be permitted to play Friday night home games after a situation like the one they encountered after Thursday: a home game Friday after a game the previous day on the West Coast. The Cubs' plane didn't arrive at O'Hare until nearly midnight; figure they got home by 1 a.m. and have to show up for a 3 p.m. game today.

Even worse is MLB's schedule leading up to the All-Star break. After spending 16 of the last 19 days on the road, the Cubs will play 10 straight games in Chicago, including a makeup game of the May 28 game against the White Sox, which will be played at the Cell on Monday, previously an off day. That will get the Cubs to the break with 48 home games and 45 road games played. After the break, the Cubs will play 16 of 23 on the road.

Better luck with that scheduling thing next year, MLB.

Cubs lineup:

Sappelt CF, Castro SS, Navarro C, Soriano LF, Ransom 3B, Rizzo 1B, Hairston RF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

Dave Sappelt was so good when he was here earlier in the year leading off! Great to have him there again!

Oh, wait. No, no he wasn't. Nine games in the starting lineup in the leadoff spot this year before he was sent to Iowa: 6-for-32 (.188), one walk, one double, six strikeouts.

Ugh.

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

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


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 - Jeff Samardzija 5-7 17 17 1 1 0 0 113.1 99 47 42 10 37 120 3.34 1.20


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Francisco Liriano 7-3 10 10 0 0 0 0 60.2 55 15 15 2 23 67 2.23 1.29

Jeff Samardzija has made three starts against the Pirates this year. He was really good on Opening Day, allowing no runs in eight innings, and May 22 in Pittsburgh, one run in seven innings in a 1-0 loss. June 8 at Wrigley Field, not so much: four runs in six innings. Overall: 21 innings, 13 hits, five earned runs, three walks, 24 strikeouts against the Pirates this year.

Francisco Liriano has already made two starts against the Cubs this year. He has thrown a total of 14 innings in those starts and allowed four hits, with 17 strikeouts. Doom.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. For those of you outside the Chicago area (and outside the Cubs blackout areas, thanks, Bud) it can also be seen on MLB Network.

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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