PITTSBURGH — Major League Baseball has ruled in the Pirates’ favor regarding the Anthony Rizzo slide, although I bet that’s little consolation to the wavering home team.

MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports MLB will have a statement coming out regarding the play, but both teams have been informed that Rizzo should’ve been ruled out.

Let’s not forget about the baseball game tonight, although if you want to debate the matter further, there’s always my story from this afternoon:

Anthony Rizzo’s Questionable Takeout Of Elias Díaz Highlights Rule Confusion

The Pirates (28-25) have lost eight of 10 and are now a season-high six games out of the National League Central lead, currently held by the surging Brewers. A loss tonight would not only deepen Pittsburgh’s slump, but also ensure a third consecutive series defeat against divisional competition after four series wins in a row against the Central.

So, uh, no pressure at all on Nick Kingham (3.44 ERA, 2.57 FIP, 0.76 WHIP) in his fourth big-league start tonight. He’ll oppose none other than 13-year MLB veteran Jon Lester (2.37, 4.11, 1.19), who’s off to a hot start in his fourth season with the Cubs.

As if the Pirates didn’t have enough to worry about, Francisco Cervelli’s illness will keep him out for a third straight game. They could use his bat, since they’ve scored just five runs in their past three games, all losses.

Yesterday’s two-single performance against spot-starter Mike Montgomery was particularly odious, but at least that gave the Pirates a look at a lefty before Lester takes the bump.

“We’ve just gotta do a better job with approaches,” Corey Dickerson said. “If somebody gets on, do a better job with passing the torch. You go through times like this, but we’ll have better approaches next time.”

PIRATES LINEUP

Dickerson and Colin Moran sit against the southpaw …

https://twitter.com/Pirates/status/1001535352681762822

CUBS LINEUP

Mt. Lebanon native Ian Happ is back in the lineup for the beloved Joe Maddon and his Cubs …

CONDITIONS

If we didn’t just go through the longest winter in recent memory, I’d be tempted to call tonight ‘uncomfortable.’ Instead, let’s go with ‘steamy’ on this 90-degree late-May day.

Weather.com predicts just a slight chance of rain, with calm winds and temperatures dropping through the 80s by 10 p.m.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. This is the type of thing were the team misses A.J. They are harkening back to pre- A.J. days when they were chickns@#&

  2. Kingham was hitting that up and in fastball consistently in previous starts, I don’t think that was intentional; but now, it’s all out of the way until Lester plunks J-Hay.

  3. I actually expect the Cubs to hit someone regardless if Rizzo gets hit or not. Call it preemptive.

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