After taking two of the first three games from the Cubs in this four-game set, the Pirates face a bit of a challenge to get a third win tonight as the Cubs will send Jeff Samardzija to the mound in the series finale. I have a feeling that we’re going to hear Samardzija’s name a whole bunch in Pittsburgh in the next six weeks as trade talk heats up, but that’s neither here nor there for now.
Samardzija’s been excellent in 2014, with his 2.54 ERA, his 3.13 K/BB, and his five homers allowed in 85 innings. The Pirates haven’t seen him since Opening Day, when he tossed seven shutout innings in his no decision. Edinson Volquez starts for the Pirates. He will either be good or bad, depending on the whims of a butterfly’s wings in China or something. I have no idea what dictates Volquez’s efficiency or efficacy on any given night, to be honest.
Josh Harrison is out of the lineup tonight, though he may be available to pinch hit. The Pirates have called utility infielder Michael Martinez up just in case. In doing so, they demoted Casey Sadler, which is interesting because it takes Sadler out of the running to start on Sunday. At this point, it sure looks like Vance Worley will get his first Pirate start this weekend. Harrison on the bench means Gregory Polanco will bat leadoff for the Pirates. Starling Marte’s recent hot streak has him in the second spot. Andrew McCutchen is batting third, of course. Seeing those two bat 1-2-3 makes me smile.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05.