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Pirates Vs. Cubs Preview: Game Time, TV Schedule, Probable Pitchers

The Pittsburgh Pirates hope to snap a six-game losing streak and get revenge on the Chicago Cubs for sweeping them last week with chances of a Wild Card berth still alive.

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 8:  James McDonald #53 and Rod Barajas #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates talk against the Chicago Cubs during the game on September 8, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 8: James McDonald #53 and Rod Barajas #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates talk against the Chicago Cubs during the game on September 8, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates hope to get back on track in the hunt for an NL Wild Card berth and avenge a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs when they head to Wrigley Field this weekend.

The Cubs' trip to Pittsburgh last week was the beginning of a bad spell for the Bucs: coming off a series win against the lowly Houston Astros, the Cubs seemed like another team that would roll over and allow the Pirates to remain in contention. Instead, the Pirates' bats disappeared, only scoring seven runs in the three-game set, less than the Cubs scored in the first game of the series. The Pirates followed that up with another sweep, this time falling in three straight to the more respectable Cincinnati Reds, again only managing seven runs in three games.

It's clear the Pirates need to get hits if they want to make the playoffs. Despite the lack of offensive production, the Pirates pitching has been decent over the recent stretch of failure. James McDonald takes the mound this afternoon at Wrigley after giving up three runs in a 5.2 inning no-decision last week against Chicago, hoping for some run support. He'll face off against Chris Rusin, who has pitched fine in two of his first three career starts, giving up only one run in two five-inning outings, one against Pittsburgh, but also getting shelled for five runs in just one inning against Washington. The 25-year-old is still on the lookout for his first MLB win.


Current Series

4 game series vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field

Pittsburgh Pirates
@ Chicago Cubs

Friday, Sep 14, 2012, 2:20 PM EDT
Wrigley Field

James McDonald vs Chris Rusin

Sunny. Winds blowing in from left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 09/15 1:05 PM EDT
Sun 09/16 2:20 PM EDT
Mon 09/17 8:05 PM EDT


Current Series

4 game series vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field

Pittsburgh Pirates
@ Chicago Cubs

Friday, Sep 14, 2012, 2:20 PM EDT
Wrigley Field

James McDonald vs Chris Rusin

Sunny. Winds blowing in from left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 09/15 1:05 PM EDT
Sun 09/16 2:20 PM EDT
Mon 09/17 8:05 PM EDT

After an off-day yesterday, the Pirates are now 3.0 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals, a hard but not impossible task with 30 games left in their season. The game is available on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout and continue to check out SB Nation Pittsburgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.