The game begins at 2:20 and will be aired by WGN, Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Neil Walker 2b, Andrew McCutchen CF, Justin Morneau 1b, Garrett Jones RF, Pedro Alvarez 3b, Tony Sanchez C, Clint Barmes SS and Francisco Liriano P.
Garrett Jones gives The Byrd a day off as Clint loads up with lefties as best he can against Arrieta.
Cubs lineup: Starlin Castro SS, Darwin Barney 2b, Anthony Rizzo 1b, Donnie Murphy 3b, Junior Lake LF, Darnell McDonald RF, Ryan Sweeney CF, JC Boscan C and Jake Arrieta P.
- Today is Chicago's last home game. After an off day, the Cubbies visit St. Louis for a season-ending three game set.
- The rotations for the weekend Buc-Red series aren't set yet, but it points to a Francisco Liriano - Mat Latos throwdown for the play-in game if St. Louis holds on the first place. The Bucs have AJ Burnett set in stone for Friday, probably followed by Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole; Jeff Locke is out of the equation unless the last game is meaningless. Cincy will counter with Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto.
- Gerrit Cole became the first Pirate rookie to win 10 games since 2002 when Josh Fogg won 12, and the first to come through the Pirate organization since Kris Benson won 10 in 1999.
- Neil Walker was named the XVal Player of the week, which recognizes how much value a player brings to his club. (thx to @BiertempfelTrib)
- Cutch has 59 multi-hit games this season, second in the NL behind St. Louis’ Matt Carpenter, who has 63. McCutchen’s 59 multi-hit games are the most by a Pirate since Freddy Sanchez had 60 while winning the batting title in 2006.
- Ron Cook of the Post Gazette has a nice piece on Clint Hurdle, focusing on the man rather than the manager.
- Starling Marte's 137 knocks from the leadoff spot are the most hits for a Pirates leadoff hitter since Jason Kendall had 155 in 2004.
- RHP Vic Black, who was traded to the Mets as part of the Marlon Byrd deal, gave his old teammates a boost yesterday when he notched his first MLB save against the Reds.
- The Pittsburgh Post Gazette column The Digs mentions how the 1992 Pirates won the division but saw attendance drop by over 230,000 fans. The reason - the newspaper strike, which GM Ted Simmons said "killed us" because it made it hard for people to follow the team. That, of course, was before bloggers and social media provided a Plan B for the faithful.