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Cubs Go For Series Win: Cubs vs. Pirates Preview, Wednesday 7/1, 6:05 CT

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That's right, ledge-jumpers. Despite the Cubs' horrendous road trip (2-7 so far), they can come home with a series win by defeating the Pirates this evening. With the work Randy Wells has done so far, I'd give them a pretty good chance of doing just that. And the Brewers just lost to the Mets 1-0, so the Cubs can pick up a full game on Milwaukee with a win tonight.

Meanwhile, the schedule-makers did both Chicago teams a favor by scheduling them out of town the last three days. It's 61 degrees in Chicago this afternoon and drizzling, another lovely early November day. Fortunately, it's supposed to clear out tomorrow and be very pleasant all weekend.

I don't usually agree with Rick Morrissey, but he got it right in his column this morning blaming Jim Hendry for the current mess. He is absolutely correct. Hendry built the 2009 Cubs, whether by his own design or following requests made by Lou, or both. But read this passage:

Trading Mark DeRosa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in Bosnia and parts of Herzegovina, is the least of Hendry's sins. And stepping in before the hated Cardinals swooped in and acquired DeRosa from Cleveland over the weekend wouldn't have solved the team's current problems. Cubs fans would like to think that, but it's not true.

Well, I do differ with that part. (And how did Not Bruce Froemming get into Morrissey's computer?) It would have solved one problem, at least -- getting a versatile player who can play several positions, hit reasonably well, and be a clubhouse leader. That's not to say that the Cubs don't have many other problems that have to be addressed soon. One of them will be after Aramis Ramirez returns from his rehab assignment on Monday; the rehab assignment to the Peoria Chiefs will begin Friday with Peoria's game at Kane County. For those of you hoping to see the recently-promoted Josh Vitters play in that series, now you can go to Friday's game and see A-Ram instead. You can get tickets here -- the game starts at 6 pm CDT and there's a fireworks show afterwards.

Lineup via Twittermyer:

Fuld, lf; Theriot, ss; Lee, 1b; Bradley, rf; Fox, 3b; Fukudome, cf; Soto, c; Blanco, 2b; Wells, p

I like this lineup. What does Lou do if they score 10 runs tonight?

Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Virgil Vazquez
Virgil Vazquez
Pirates
2-3 W-L 1-0
2.57 ERA 3.00
41 SO 7
13 BB 2
4 HR 0
vs. Pit -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Randy Wells 2-3 9 9 0 0 0 0 56.0 48 17 16 4 13 41 2.57 1.09


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Virgil Vazquez 1-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 4 2 2 0 2 7 3.00 1.00

Neither of tonight's starting pitchers has ever faced his opponent, nor anyone on the teams' current rosters. You know how the Cubs usually do against guys like that, although Vazquez has already had his time of making another team look silly, last Friday vs. the Royals. He also made five appearances for the 2007 Tigers.

Other than the two Ozzie Virgils, father and son, Virgil Vazquez is the sixth major leaguer to be known by that first name. The last one before Vazquez was Virgil Trucks, who had a long career in the 1940's and 1950's, mostly with the Tigers, last appearing for the 1958 Yankees. There were four other players whose first given name was "Virgil" who chose to be called by some other name, probably wisely. The complete list of major league Virgils, in case you are bored, is here. (I love weird searches on baseball-reference.com!)

Tonight's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Pittsburgh. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SBN Pirates site Bucs Dugout.

Overflow comment threads will post today at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.