Pregame Notes: Chicago Cubs begin home stand vs Pirates


After another solid road trip that ended in a two-game sweep over the Cincinnati Reds this past weekend, the Chicago Cubs find themselves in another division battle against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at Wrigley Field, kicking off another home stand.

With the NFL Draft just around the corner and the city of Chicago hosting the entire three-day event, this weeks stand will be football themed. What that means, is the stadium itself is going to be celebrating its football history being the former home of the Chicago Bears. Legends of the National Football League will take the field to throw out the first pitch then conduct the seventh inning stretch.

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While fans around the city wait and see who their favorite team will be drafting over the weekend, Jason Hammel will take the mound for the Cubs (10-7) in a rematch against Vance Worley.

Hammel (1-1, 5.19 ERA) was handed the loss on Apr. 22 as the Pirates (11-7) tagged him for four runs, three of which were earned on six hits that included one home run and five strikeouts in as many innings. Hammel was riding off a no-decision last weekend with the Padres in town prior to his outing in Pittsburgh.

Worley (2-1, 4.00 ERA) on the other hand, picked up the win after working 5 2/3 solid innings without an earned run. The Cubs did, however, tally a run on six hits, but he was not charged.

Both teams will be battling it out for second place after splitting last week’s series with the Cubs coming off that sweep of the Reds. Chicago’s bats came through with clutch at-bats during that series, as Anthony Rizzo, Chris Coghlan and Miguel Montero each connected on home runs. Outfielder Jorge Soler will be looking to get himself back on track after struggling at the plate with over 10 strikeouts over the last seven games.

Although Chicago has battled back late in games this season, Pittsburgh gave them a taste of their own medicine over the final two games of the four-game series split – especially Gregory Polanco in game four who capped a three-hit game with a go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning with Phil Coke on the mound.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineup:

First pitch for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7:05 pm central time and will be aired live on both CSN and WBBM 780.

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