Cubs vs. Pirates Preview, Sunday 9/15, 12:35 CT: Another Game You Won't Be Watching

Joe Sargent

The Bears play the Vikings at noon CT. Thus, most of you won't see this Cubs game. Here's what you can expect if you do tune in.

While you are watching the Bears game, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be going about important business against the Chicago Cubs in Pittsburgh.

Not only are the Pirates tied with the Cardinals for first place in the National League Central, and with the new playoff setup winning your division is much more important than appearing in the play-in game, but they are also tied with the Dodgers for the second-best overall record in the National League (86-62). This could be important for getting an extra home game in the postseason.

Remember when we as Cubs fans used to worry about stuff like that? Ah, memories.

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Rizzo 1B, Murphy 3B, Lake CF, Castillo C, McDonald RF, Bogusevic LF, Wood P

More memories: Someday we will look back and laugh at the days when Donnie Murphy was the Cubs' cleanup hitter.

Hopefully.

Pirates lineup:

Tabata LF, Mercer SS, McCutchen CF, Byrd RF, G. Sanchez 1B, Alvarez 3B, T. Sanchez C, Walker 2B, Liriano P

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 9-11 34 29 0 0 0 0 186.0 149 67 63 17 58 132 3.05 1.11

After a rough August, Travis Wood has posted a 1.71 ERA over his last three starts. It would be nice to see him finish the year strong. He has faced the Pirates twice this year and allowed just five hits and one earned run in 12 total innings. He'll need to do that again to give the Cubs a chance to win, because...

Francisco Liriano's resurgence is one of the biggest reasons (beyond their excellent bullpen work) the Pirates are in first place. He's been even better against the Cubs than Wood has against Pittsburgh: three starts, 23 innings, eight hits allowed, two earned runs, 24 strikeouts. Looks like doom heading our way.

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.

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