9/15 Sunday starter

The Cubs know Francisco Liriano only too well. The lefty is 3-1 in four career starts against the Cubs, and 3-0 in three games this year. On July 5, he threw his second complete game, beating Jeff Samardzija at Wrigley Field.

“He’s another guy who you’re not going to string a lot of hits together,” Dale Sveum said of Liriano. “You’ve got to be patient and hope you get a couple walks and hits and somebody pops a two-run double or something like that. That’s how you score against these guys when they’re on a roll. The kind of guy he is with that velocity, he almost pitches like CC Sabathia and pitches off his offspeed stuff, but with obviously really good velocity to go with it.”

Do the Cubs have any kind of edge having faced him so much this year?

“There’s always an edge to know if you can be patient and make him get the ball up,” Sveum said. “But his slider is so hard and he keeps it down and back foots you. It looks like a fastball coming out. Both his changeup and slider look like strikes and they end up balls.”

Liriano is vying for his 17th win. He would be the first Pirates lefty to win more than 16 games since John Smiley was 20-8 in 1991. Liriano also is 10 strikeouts away from 1,000 in his career.

— Carrie Muskat


Forewarned is forearmed. Know the enemy!

Really Dale? ANOTHER guy?? A looooong list….. but Dale is probably as prepared for Liriano’s attempt at WIN NUMBER FOUR vs us by utilizing the SAME strategy….starting a right handed hitter just because he is right handed (i.e. McDonald) while better hitters sit on the bench. Well, here’s hoping that McDonald, a player that is about inconsequential to this team as was Campana (evidently) catches lightning in a bottle and has a “career” game vs. Liriano making Sveum look like the genius he ISN’T.

I see Sveum’s “strategy” of playing McDonald paid off. Without McDonald’s 1-3, no RBI, no run scored performance we may have actually been closer to winning a CLOSE game…..NOW we are one more loss closer to a better draft pick in 2014. Go Sveum!!! This is NOT a knock on McDonald, he just happens to be the non-consequential, “right handed hitter of the day” for Sveum’s ultimate lineup. I’m sure if Hairston, Ransom, Sosa or Kingman were still on the roster….well, you guys know…

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