From 2007 through 2009, the Cubs and Pirates played 47 times. The Cubs went 32-15 in those games. This shouldn't surprise you, as the Cubs were a playoff team two of those three years and had a winning record in the other, and the Pirates lost 94, 95 and 99 games.
Since 2010, though, it's a different story, even though from 2010 through 2012 the Cubs were 207-279 and the Pirates were 208-278, virtually identical records. (Last year, of course, the Bucs were 28 games better than the Cubs.)
The Pirates are 41-29 against the Cubs since the start of 2010, and that includes 3-1 this year, all four 2014 games decided by one run. For those of us old enough to remember the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the Pirates ran up huge win totals against the Cubs (the Cubs were 94-137 against Pittsburgh from 1967 through 1979), this is starting to sound like a familiar story.
Perhaps tonight will be different. The trends say otherwise.
Bonifacio CF, Castro SS, Ruggiano RF, Rizzo 1B, Olt 3B, Lake LF, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Hammel P
Again vs. the LHP Wandy Rodriguez, all RH hitters except for Anthony Rizzo.
Marte LF, Snider RF, McCutchen CF, Alvarez 3B, Martin C, Walker 2B, Ishikawa 1B, Mercer SS, Rodriguez P
Today's Starting Pitchers
We have another pitching rematch from last week, this one from last Thursday's game at PNC Park. Jason Hammel pitched well in that game, his Cubs debut. A repeat of that (and the game result, too) would be welcome.
Today's game is on WGN.
For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.
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.