Pregame 1: Opening Day v. Cubs

The field, four hours before first pitch ...

The field, four hours before first pitch …

Happy Opening Day. Allow me to blast ya with some trivia, news and notes: This is Franicisco Liriano‘s second Opening Day assignment. He started Twins opener in 2009 and dropped 6-1 decision v Mariners & King Felix … This is just the third time the Pirates have begun the season in March. The won the previous two, both on March 31 — 10-1 at Cincy in 2003 and 12-11 in Atlanta in 2008 (12 innings) … Jinx alert! Mark Melancon beings this season with the longest streak of innings pitched without allowing a homer (63.0 IP) among all major league pitchers. … Jinx alert II! Reliever Tony Watson ended last season with a run of 21 scoreless outings. His streak of 20.1 innings without a run allowed is the third-longest in the majors behind Kevin Siegrist (25.0) and Hisashi Iwakuma (23.0). … This is second year in a row the Pirates and Cubs have clashed on Opening Day. The Cubbies were the opponent in the Pirates’ first game in the National League on April 30, 1887 at Recreation Park. I don’t think it cost $100 back then for a ticket, beer and parking, Then again, how much could it cost to park a horse and buggy?

Game 1: Cubs (0-0) @ Pirates (0-0), 1:05 p.m. PNC Park

Cubs: 1. Emilio Bonifacio cf, 2. Junior Lake lf, 3. Starlin Castro ss, 4. Anthony Rizzo 1b, 5. Mike Olt 3b, 6. Wellington Castillo c, 7. Nate Schierholtz rf, 8. Darwin Barney 2b, 9. Jeff Samardzija rhp
Pirates: 1. Starling Marte lf, 2. Travis Snider rf, Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 5. Russell Martin c, 6. Neil Walker 2b, 7. Travis Ishikawa 1b, 8. Jordy Mercer ss, 9. Francisco Liriano lhp
– Rob Biertempfel