Game preview: Cubs (24-28) @ Pirates (21-31)
"I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I really don't know. I'm going to be honest with you, I wish I had some answers."
When your manager brings insight like that to the ballpark, how can you question his methods?
As promised/threatened, Mr. Piniella has made a number of changes in his lineup tonight. Young Castro moves back up to the second spot, Nady gets a spot start in place of Derrek Lee, Colvin escapes for a night from Piniella Purgatory to spell the slumping Marlon Byrd in center, Baker gets back on the field for the first time since suffering that ocular migraine last week against the Dodgers, and Hill catches while Soto (.200/.333/.329 in May) sits.
Ted Lilly returns to the mound for the first time since those accusations from Casey Blake of the Dodgers temporarily brought the word "cheater" back into the adult lexicon and did wonders for C.J. Nitkowski's following on Twitter.
For the Pirates—6-1 this year against the Cubs; 15-30 against the rest of baseball—Jeff Karstens gets a spot start in place of the injured Charlie Morton.
Cubs lineup vs. Karstens (1-1, 4.78; all-time vs. Cubs, 2-1, 5.06)
Fukudome 9, Castro 6, Nady 3, Colvin 8, Soriano 7, Fontenot 4, Baker 5, Hill 2, Lilly 1
Pirates lineup vs. Lilly (1-4, 3.63; all-time vs. Pirates, 4-3, 4.38)
McCutchen 8, Walker 4, Milledge 7, Jones 9, Crosby 3, Doumit 2, LaRoche 5, Cedeno 6, Karstens
Finally, I loved this summary of yesterday's Cubs-Pirates game by Craig Calcaterra in his "And That Happened" column at The Hardball Times:
Get this: Garrett Jones hit a homer to right field and a Cubs fan–a visiting Cubs fan, as this game was played in PNC Park—threw the ball back out onto the field. I know that Pirates fans have had a lot of the fight taken out of them these past 17 years, but I hope against hope that a few of them came together to beat the living crap out of that punk. Um, figuratively speaking, that is. You know, with sharp bon mots and stuff.