The Chicago Cubs (15-29) and Pittsburgh Pirates (20-24) square off on Friday night for their first such matchup of the 2012 MLB season.
UTIL Joe Mather gets the start in center field against SP A.J. Burnett -- who has pitched exceptionally after his first rough outing (12 earned runs in 2 and 2/3 innings). Mather will hit third for the first time of the season as SS Starlin Castro will hit second. Castro has hit third in each of the Cubs preceding games, but after yet another 1-run game from the Cubs offense on Wednesday night, manager Dale Svuem has elected to shuffle the order.
Mather, a former utility player for the St. Louis Cardinals, is on pace for a career-high 228 plate appearances this season, and has rewarded Svuem's faith in him with a strong .278/.371/.519 slash -- one of the best hitting performances from an underwhelming Cubs offense.
#Cubs lineup @Pirates 5/25: DeJesus RF, Castro SS, Mather CF, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, Barney 2B, Hill C, Dempster P— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 25, 2012
With one addendum:
Adrian Cardenas has replaced Ian Stewart in today's #Cubs lineup against the #Pirates.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 25, 2012
Tonight's lineup vs. cubs: tabata 7 Harrison 9 McCutchen 8 Alvarez 5 walker 4 Hague 3 Barajas 2 Barmes 6 Burnett 1— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 25, 2012
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