This has been the worst home season for the Cubs in the history of the franchise, as I wrote earlier today. Nevertheless, it's always a bit melancholy to realize you won't see the inside of Wrigley Field with baseball going on for more than six months.
Here's the hope that next year's baseball at the corner of Clark & Addison will be better.
The Pirates, meanwhile, are concerned with a pennant race; they trail the Cardinals by two games with four remaining, so they'll need to keep winning and get some help to catch them. The help could be provided by the Cubs, in all four games; the Pirates can take care of business themselves, then hope the Cubs can repeat what they did the last time they were in St. Louis, winning this weekend's series. At worst, if they keep winning, the Pirates will host the Reds in the wild-card game next week.
It has been a very strange year.
Castro SS, Barney 2B, Rizzo 1B, Murphy 3B, Lake LF, McDonald RF, Sweeney CF, Boscan C, Arrieta P
J.C. Boscan gets his first start as a Cub. Except for the four innings in Milwaukee where Boscan replaced Welington Castillo after Castillo's injury, Castillo and Dioner Navarro have caught every inning for the Cubs this year.
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
|2013 - Jake Arrieta||3-2||8||8||0||0||0||0||45.2||30||21||20||7||22||36||3.94||1.14|
|2013 - Francisco Liriano||16-7||25||25||2||0||0||0||156.0||126||50||50||8||62||155||2.88||1.21|
Jake Arrieta will be making his final start of 2013, and let's hope he makes a better impression than Chris Rusin. Arrieta's numbers as a Cub -- 3.94 ERA, 1.139 WHIP, 101 ERA+ in eight starts -- have been at least good enough for a fourth or fifth starter role, if he could keep that up for an entire season. He has shown flashes of brilliance. If he can make that more consistent, the Cubs got themselves a steal. Arrieta faced the Pirates September 13 in Pittsburgh and did all right, though he gave up three home runs. His numbers above are with the Cubs only; here are his overall numbers.
|2013 - Jake Arrieta||4-4||13||13||0||0||0||0||69.1||55||40||39||9||39||59||5.06||1.36|
Francisco Liriano took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Cubs September 15 in Pittsburgh before the Cubs finally chased him from the game with three hits and two runs. Overall this year against the Cubs in four starts, he has thrown 29 innings, allowed 11 hits and 14 walks (0.862 WHIP) and posted a 1.24 ERA. Liriano has had an excellent year and is one of the biggest reasons the Pirates are where they are. We are probably doomed.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com 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.