clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Friday 6/16, 6:05 CT

Time to get back on the winning track.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Cubs and Pirates will honor the history of the Negro Leagues by wearing throwback uniforms for tonight's game, an annual event at PNC Park:

To mark the occasion, the Pirates will wear throwback uniforms honoring the Homestead Grays while the Cubs' uniforms will honor the Leland Giants.

The Cubs' uniform selection commemorates a three-game series between the Cubs and Leland Giants played in October 1909, which was the first time the Cubs played an African-American team.

Baseball historian Ed Hartig says former player Frank Leland organized, managed and owned several African-American teams in Chicago, beginning in the late 1880s. In 1901, Leland merged two teams, the Chicago Unions and Columbia Giants, to form the Chicago Union Giants, one of the top Negro teams in the Midwest.

Here's a look at what the Cubs will be wearing (model: Lester Strode):

A couple of Anthony Rizzo home run notes

  • His home run Wednesday was his 148th as a Cub. That ties him with Mark Grace for 14th place on the all-time Cubs list. Next up: Andre Dawson, 174.
  • According to Elias, Rizzo is the first Cub since 1920 (and probably ever, since so few homers were hit before then) to hit home runs in his first two games batting leadoff. Last player overall to do that: Didi Gregorius, June 4 and 6, 2014.
  • Tuesday, he became the first Cubs first baseman to lead off a game with a home run since Rick Monday September 11, 1976. (H/T: Ed Hartig)

Hope he goes deep to lead off the game again tonight!

Cubs lineup:

Rizzo 1B, Happ 2B, Schwarber LF, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Contreras C, La Stella 3B, Butler P, Almora CF

Just a day off for Kris Bryant.

Pirates lineup:

Frazier LF, Harrison 2B, Polanco RF, Freese 3B, Bell 1B, McCutchen CF, Cervelli C, Mercer SS, Williams P

Eddie Butler vs. Trevor Williams

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Butler. Man, I don't know what to think of him. He has starts that look good. He has starts that start out good and turn out mediocre. He has starts that are bad.

He has talent. He showed that in spring training and at Iowa. I keep looking for him to be dominant the way he was in his first outing for the Cubs at St. Louis back in early May.

He pitched against the Pirates last year at PNC Park. That outing, on May 20, 2016, was very good: six innings, seven hits, one earned run.

I think we'd take that tonight.

Trevor Williams has made two relief appearances against the Cubs this year. The last one, April 24 at PNC Park, was four innings, four hits, two earned runs. He walked three.

Since entering the Pirates rotation, he's made seven starts and posted a 5.05 ERA and 1.234 WHIP with five home runs allowed in 35⅔ innings. Three of those starts could be categorized as "good," two "mediocre" and two "bad."

What to expect, then? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Today's game is on WGN.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout. If you do go there to interact with Pirates fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Get tickets to Cubs games from our partner StubHub here.

Discuss amongst yourselves.