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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Tuesday 6/13, 7:05 CT

The Cubs return to Wrigley after a long road trip. Hopefully the Confines will be friendly.

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Today's roster move: Here

The weather forecast is not good for tonight, so here’s the local radar just in case.

Tuesday notes...

  • VERY, VERY CLOSE: In the 2,582 games between the teams since 1887, the Cubs have outscored the Pirates by just 69 runs, 11,409-11,340. That’s a difference of 0.03 runs per game! Through the end of 2018, each had scored exactly 11,068 runs. Since then, the Cubs have outscored the Pirates, 341-272, while winning 41 of 66 games. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • HE’S BEEN REALLY GOOD: Julian Merryweather allowed five runs in his first outing of 2023. Since then, in 26 appearances: 2.03 ERA (2.59 FIP), 1.163 WHIP, 37 strikeouts in 26⅔ innings.
  • IN A SLUMP: Dansby Swanson, last eight games since June 4: 3-for-31 (.097), no runs, 13 strikeouts.
  • SNEAKY GOOD: Adbert Alzolay, last six appearances since May 26: 0.00 ERA (6⅓ innings), three hits allowed (0.474 WHIP), no walks, eight strikeouts, two saves.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Pirates lineup:

Jameson Taillon, RHP vs. Luis Ortiz, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Jameson Taillon had another fairly rough go at it in his last start, last Wednesday in Anaheim, though two of the four runs charged to him were allowed to score after he left the game. Walks — four of them — were his biggest issue.

His last start vs. the Pirates — in fact, his only start against his original team — was July 5, 2022 in Pittsburgh. The numbers look eerily like the ones from that game last week in Anaheim. He’ll have to do better. Look at the chart below! He’s got seven different pitches! Some of them have to be good. Right? Right?

Luis Ortiz has made 10 MLB appearances (nine starts). One of the starts was September 25, 2022 against the Cubs at PNC Park, in which he allowed just one hit — a first-inning single by Zach McKinstry — in 4⅔ innings. The Cubs wound up winning the game anyway.

How much have the Cubs changed since then? Of the 10 Cubs position players who played in that game, only three (Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner, Patrick Wisdom) are still on the team.

Do better, Cubs.


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the first pitch thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, first pitch thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The first pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.