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.
Both the #Cubs and Pirates have been told by league that Rizzo should've been called for interference on his slide at home. That differs from the umpire's call on the field as well as the video review
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 29, 2018
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:
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.”
Dickerson and Colin Moran sit against the southpaw …
Mt. Lebanon native Ian Happ is back in the lineup for the beloved Joe Maddon and his Cubs …
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup in Pittsburgh.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 29, 2018
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.