Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 9/14/12

Pirates (72-70) at Cubs (56-87)

2:20 PM EST–Wrigley Field, Chicago

Here is the MLB.com Gameday

TV: ROOT Sports, WGN

Well, the Pirates have gotten chance after chance after chance to stay in the wild card hunt despite their awful play recently. And here comes another chance, as they still somehow sit only three games out. 

The Pirates are in Chicago for a four game set against the Cubs this weekend. They face three starters with a combined record of 9-23, with the fourth making his major league debut. The Cardinals and Dodgers play each other this weekend, so if the Pirates win the series they can definitely gain on at least one of those two . The surging Phillies finally lost last night–to the Astros. The Pirates aren’t in a terribly ideal position, but they’re still at the point where a little hot-streak can change that in a week. But that needs to happen soon.

Today’s lineup features Starling Marte in there for the first time in a couple days, along with the return of Pedro Alvarez (hitting seventh). Michael McKenry is in there at catcher, and Gaby Sanchez plays first while Garrett Jones mans right field. Still no Neil Walker.

Today’s starters…

 James McDonald (12-7, 3.93) vs. Chris Rusin (0-2, 5.73)

J-Mac’s last start wasn’t terrible, which is an improvement for him considering that it wasn’t against his new favorite opponent, the Cardinals. He gave up 3 runs in 5.2 innings against these Cubs, but only struck out two. For the zillionth time, he’s going to need to be better than that. And he has it in him…but time’s running out.

Rusin last pitched against the Bucs on Sunday, and yielded just one run (an Andrew McCutchen HR) on five hits in five innings. The lefty’s previous start lasted just one inning in a disastrous outing against the Nats, and his only other start was his big-league debut (which also lasted just five innings).

Cubs vs. McDonald:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Starlin Castro 15 14 4 0 0 1 1 1 2 .286 .333 .500 .833 Darwin Barney 14 13 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 .308 .357 .308 .665 Alfonso Soriano 11 10 2 0 0 2 3 1 5 .200 .273 .800 1.073 David DeJesus 6 5 2 1 0 0 2 1 1 .400 .500 .600 1.100 Anthony Rizzo 6 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .200 .333 .200 .533 Luis Valbuena 6 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 .000 .167 .000 .167 Chris Volstad 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 Tony Campana 3 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 1.000 1.667 Welington Castillo 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .667 1.000 Bryan LaHair 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Jeff Samardzija 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Dave Sappelt 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .333 .000 .333 Joe Mather 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 Total 79 70 16 3 0 3 7 6 13 .229 .295 .400 .695 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/14/2012.

Pirates vs. Rusin:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Brock Holt 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 Garrett Jones 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 Starling Marte 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Andrew McCutchen 3 2 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 .500 .667 2.000 2.667 Pedro Alvarez 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 Clint Barmes 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .500 .000 .500 Jeff Locke 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 Michael McKenry 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 Gaby Sanchez 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .500 .000 .500 Total 22 19 5 0 0 1 1 3 4 .263 .364 .421 .785 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/14/2012.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Rockets have 'serious chance' at landing Chris Paul

MotoGP qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix saw three frightening crashes Saturday

Report: Knicks attempted to move Joakim Noah with Kristaps Porzingis

Hornets GM mistakenly introduces Dwayne Bacon as Dwyane Wade

Three A's players knock first MLB homers in the same game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cuban-American businessman emerges as potential Marlins buyer

Charles Oakley: Kristaps Porzingis was ‘wrong’ to skip exit meeting

Ranking the toughest divisions in the NFL

Sixers already looking to extend Joel Embiid

WATCH: Klay Thompson fails miserably attempting a 360 dunk

Jays closer Roberto Osuna says he’s dealing with anxiety

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker