September 9: Cubs (70-67) @ Pirates (54-83); Doumit out with stiff back

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Other than the fact that it is just cool, I didn’t realize 09/09/09 (today’s date if you’re a little slow this morning) was all that noteworthy. As it turns out, though, MLB.com has all sorts of 09/09/09 tributes going on through the day.

Let me direct your attention to a few:

  • Voting has opened on each club site for fans to pick their team’s all-time lineup. If you’d like to cast your vote for the Pirates’ starting 9, you can do so here.
  • There are $9.99 specials going on at the MLB.com shop if you’d like to peruse for some new Bucs merchandise.
  • And Pirates Hall-of-Famer Bill Mazeroski was named the starting second baseman on National Baseball Hall of Fame library director Jim Gates in his All-Star team of No. 9’s.

As for todays’ news, notes and randomness…

  • Catcher Ryan Doumit is out of the lineup on Wednesday because of a stiff back. That could explain why Doumit didn’t start Sunday or Tuesday’s game either, though when manager John Russell was asked on Tuesday if Doumit was hurt, he said no.
  • Third baseman Neil Walker gets his second start of the homestand on Wednesday. He has two hits in his last two at-bats.
  • As expected, the Pirates have reinstated right-hander Jeff Karstens (lower back strain) from the 15-day disabled list. Karstens made three Minor League rehab appearances with Triple-A Indianapolis. He pitched six scoreless innings and struck out seven.
  • It may be just 12 hours since last night’s game ended, but infield coach Perry Hill has some of his infielders out on the field already for early work. Andy LaRoche, Delwyn Young and Steve Pearce are turning double plays as I type.
  • The Pirates’ high-A affiliate in Lynchburg opens up the first game of the Carolina League playoffs later on Wednesday.
  • Garrett Jones’ 19th homer of the season not only ranks him first among all rookies in the Majors this season, but it also set a Pirates rookie record for most home runs by a left-handed hitter. Al Martin’s 18 in 1993 was the previous high. In fact, only three other rookies in franchise history have more — Ralph Kiner (23 in 1946), Johnny Rizzo (23 in 1938) and Jason Bay (26 in 2004).
  • Right-hander Jose Ascanio (right shoulder tendinitis) is out throwing long toss right now at what looks to be a distance of about 100 feet.
  • Must say that PNC Bank and the Pirates hit a high note with the tribute to golfer Arnold Palmer last night. And as expected, it was golfer Peter Jacobson who nailed the Pirate Parrot to earn $5,000 for Pirates Charities in the chip challenge. Paul Maholm and Steve Blass did come extremely close, however, in their three swings.
  • Indianapolis Indians broadcaster Scott McCauley did a nice end-of-the-season wrap on his blog that I’d recommend checking out. Not only does it let you know who from that team might or might not be coming back, but McCauley also breaks down the statistical leaders from the Indians’ season. That blog can be found here
  • Wednesday’s lineup is the 101st different one used by Russell this season.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Delwyn Young (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (RF)
  4. Brandon Moss (LF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Neil Walker (3B)
  7. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Kevin Hart (RHP)

Cubs lineup:

  1. Kosuke Fukudome (CF)
  2. Ryan Theriot (SS)
  3. Derrek Lee (1B)
  4. Micah Hoffpauir (RF)
  5. Jeff Baker (3B)
  6. Mike Fontenot (2B)
  7. Bobby Scales (LF)
  8. Koyie Hill (C)
  9. Carlos Zambrano (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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