Bad news: the Cubs are going to Pittsburgh for the third time this year, an unscheduled stop due to last Wednesday's rainout.
Good news: this will be a quick stop, just one afternoon, and the Cubs don't have to return to Pittsburgh for the rest of 2010. (They do have two more series against the Pirates at Wrigley Field, including one at the end of this month.)
Seriously, I can't figure out what's up with this team against the Pirates this year. They dominated them the last two seasons, going 24-8. They've almost lost that many to them in one-third of a season this year (seven times). The Cubs aren't that bad. Neither are the Pirates that good -- a quick glance at the standings, in fact, shows the Cubs still two games ahead of Pittsburgh. Further fact: take away the games against the two teams the Cubs have faced thus far on this road trip (Astros and Pirates, who have a combined record of 45-68, and against whom the Cubs are 3-11) and the Cubs are 22-20 against everyone else, which includes three teams that were in first place when the Cubs played them (Rangers, Phillies, Cardinals) and another only a game out (Dodgers).
Mystifying. That's what this team has been so far. Let them mystify us with a ten-game winning streak, starting today.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Carlos Silva||7-0||10||10||0||0||0||0||60.2||56||23||21||7||11||42||3.12||1.10|
|2010 - Dana Eveland||3-4||9||9||0||0||0||0||44.2||57||35||32||4||27||21||6.45||1.88|
The record you see above is Dana Eveland's with Toronto this year; he made nine starts for the Blue Jays before they traded him to the Pirates six days ago for a minor leaguer. Those numbers are pretty bad. Eveland made three relief appearances against the Cubs in 2005 and 2006 when he was a member of the Brewers, but the only three current Cubs he has faced are Alfonso Soriano, Xavier Nady and Marlon Byrd, all from his time in the AL. He walks a ton of hitters and has an ERA orbiting the moon. Clearly, we're doomed.
We all know about Carlos Silva's success story this year and hope it continues today. He has made five career relief appearances vs. the Pirates, all, like Eveland's vs. the Cubs, many years ago when he was with the Phillies. He has faced three current Pirates: Bobby Crosby, Akinori Iwamura and Ryan Church; they are 9-for-35 against him. He's allowed seven home runs, but three of them are solo jobs and the other four were with one runner on -- if you limit baserunners like Silva has done so far this year, you can keep your runs allowed down even if you allow a lot of HR. Pretty obvious, but a lot of pitchers don't get this simple concept.
Today's game is on cable, CSN Chicago and FSN Pittsburgh. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 11:30 am CDT, and the overflows will post at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:15 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.