Oh Marlon Byrd. What would we do without you? I loved this trade. I love this man (no homo? potential homo?). Obviously his homer will be looked at as the play of the game, but what about another play he made? The play with Neil Walker that saved a sure run.
While we’re talking about that play, I think it too often goes without mention that Neil Walker is absolute money on that relay throw.
Speaking of money, my boy Floyd Mayweather put on a clinic last night causing my dear friend @MrHammar to lose an avatar bet. For his punishment he will be the first to own the official “Shamtown Avatar Bet Loser’s Avatar”.
So yeah. I don’t always bet on sports, but when I do you all lose.
Seriously though, Hammar is a great, great guy and a good sport. He definitely deserves a follow.
The cool thing about these early games is I can put the lineup in them!
I’m a little surprised that Neil Walker is in the lineup. Batting eighth? Little risk to that move. I like it.
Both Sanchez’s get to play today. That’s something I’m happy about. John Buck was brought in for a very particular reason, to provide veteran depth, he can continue to be depth. Like deep end of the pool depth.
Overall I like this lineup a lot.
On top of this decent lineup Francisco Liriano is taking the mound.
I hate to make it seem like the Pirates should have a sure victory here but let’s be real. The excuses for losing this game are basically limited to injury and death. Otherwise the Pirates need to win this game.
This is especially true when you see what Liriano has done to the Cubs so far this season.
Dude has straight murdered the Cubs.
Not only has he not lost he’s gotten the win in every appearance. He hasn’t even pitched less than seven innings against them. Guy is averaging 7.66 IP per game against the Cubs this year.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s basically unhittable to lefties.
STFD Anthony Rizzo.
As if he needed anything else in his favor he has been exponentially better at home.
PNC is just perfect for him. There is a really cool number in there but I don’t want to jinx it so find it yourself.
He has only faced the Cubs one other time, a 5.2 inning loss in 2012.
Travis Wood currently has a record of 9-11. The terrorists have won.
His numbers are quite good despite that evil record. You know what that means, right? Probably a member of the Illuminati.
At the risk of sounding weird I’m going to just say it. I like Wood. He’s a solid pitcher. He was an All Star this year and he’s been quite consistent throughout his career.
Is he great? No. But he’s a tough pitcher to beat. This lineup is kind of made to kill guys like Wood though so I’m hoping that counterbalances a solid effort. Especially since the Cubs have used every pitcher in their organization out of the bullpen in the last three games.
Wood has only allowed one run against the Pirates in his two outings, both quality starts.
For his part, Wood also has also been very tough against lefties.
We’ll see if Neil Walker was a good start or not. I don’t mind it. I’m on record! I will not blame Clint Hurdle if Walker goes 0-4!
His career numberes against the Bucs are mixed. Some good, some bad. He’s definitely been beatable.
Cutch has been shockingly bad against Wood. That will change today.
First Pitch: 1:35 PM EST
Where To Watch: Root Sports, MLB.TV, WGN