Pitchers: Ryan Vogelsong (3-6, 4.85) v John Lackey (10-8, 3.39). After a rough string of starts, Vogey rebounded with a workmanlike outing against Milwaukee. He's started once against the Cubbies this year and gotten lathered, as has everyone the Pirates have sent to the hill. V-Song hasn't quite figured out the Cubs, as he's 5-8, 5.82 in 21 career appearances (13 starts). It is a bit curious that the Bucs are using a 39 year-old in the last week of the season, especially one who hasn’t made it past the fifth in his last four starts (0-2, 9.18), but Hutch, Tyler, Steven and Trevor haven't exactly forced management's hand for a spot start or two, either. Lackey is rounding back in shape since coming off the DL (strained shoulder) and has been solid (1-1, 3.24) since returning. He's faced the Bucs just once this year, and the Pirates rang up a five-spot in seven innings on him. Overall, he's 1-2, 3.69 in six career starts against Pittsburgh.
|Vogey gets the call against the Cubs (photo Joe Guzzy/Pirates)|
Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Gregory Polanco LF, Cutch CF, Jung Ho Kang 3B, Matt Joyce RF, S-Rod 2B, Fran Cervelli C, Jordy SS, Vogey P. Nice to see Gregory back; hopefully th time off will allow him to recharge for the final week. Starling is out; shame on the Bucs if they play him again this season instead of letting his back heal; we'd love to know what exactly his injury is.
- The Pirates have lost 4-of-5; the resurgent Cubs have won 6-of-7.
- @adamberry noted that Jung Ho Kang became the first Asian-born infielder to hit 20 home runs in a MLB season this weekend, although OF's Shin-Soo Choo and Hideki Matsui have done it multiple times.