National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 2nd (All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (0-1) at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-0), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Edwin Jackson (0-0, 0.00) Pittsburgh - Charlie Morton (0-0, 0.00)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Pirates try to make it two in a row on Wednesday when they resume their season-opening three-game series versus the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh won in thrilling fashion Monday, as Neil Walker belted a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Pirates to a 1-0 victory.
Walker, a Pittsburgh native, drove a 3-2 pitch from Carlos Villanueva (0-1) into the right field seats to send the largest crowd in PNC Park history home happy.
The blast made a winner of Bryan Morris (1-0), who worked around a one-out single in the top of the 10th with a pickoff that was overturned in Pittsburgh's favor on a replay challenge.
Emilio Bonifacio had four hits for the Cubs, who finished a dismal 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Both teams wasted magnificent efforts from their starters. Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano struck out 10 over six scoreless innings, while Jeff Samardzija went seven innings without allowing a run.
Now the Pirates turn to righty Charlie Morton, who signed a 3-year, $21 million extension with the team this offseason. Morton had a successful return from June 2012 Tommy John surgery and went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA across 20 starts last season.
"He's got the stuff to get it done," Hurdle said of Morton. "I think he's finally aware of it, and has bought into it."
Chicago, meanwhile, will counter with righty Edwin Jackson, who in the first year of a 4-year, $52 million deal with the Cubs, led the National League with 18 losses.
"Last year was a crazy year and it wasn't a year I wanted to have," said Jackson, who won just eight times and pitched to a 4.98 ERA a year ago. "I'm going to go out and play the way I know I can play. I haven't lost any confidence -- I never lost any confidence last year. It was a tough season, but at the end of the day, I came in the clubhouse the same person, day in and day out. I'm ready to go out and show what I can do."
Pittsburgh was 12-7 against the Cubs last season.
04/02 10:29:29 ET