Kosuke rising

Apparently, Lou Piniella dislikes answering questions about his lineup so much he brought up his next plan before a question was specifically asked about it — with Kosuke Fukudome probably getting his first regular-season look in the No. 2 spot of the order Wednesday.

That’s not exactly a shocker. Fukudome was expected to see time in the 2 hole when the Cubs face lefties this season, and today’s Pittsburgh starter, Tom Gorzelanny is the first of those. Zach Duke will be the second Wednesday

“I think were the only team in the National League that hasn’t faced a lefty yet this year, so well face a couple in Pittsburgh and well see how we do,” Piniella said before the game today. “We basically have stayed with the same alignment, batting-order-wise. After we see it against a lefty we can alter it a little bit if we have to. Hopefully, we wont have to.”

When asked about a possible switch for Wednesday, he said, “We’re going to look at it. Remember, spring traning we hit Fukudome second against the left. Well, we left it just the way it was [today with Fukudome fifth]. But we’ll take a look at it and see what it looks like [with him batting second]. We haven’t faced left-hand pitching yet. We’ll see. We can adjust if we need to.”

Speaking of lineups, the Pirates staged a lengthy pregame ceremony for their home opener today, which had team officials grumbling about the teams being forced to stay lined up on the base lines for the entirety of the 25-minute affair — and that was before the program got underway and only the Cubs were standing for the duration. The Pirates weren’t called onto the field for introductions until a full 10 minutes into the ceremony.

It was all but impossible to nail down the responsible parties for the Allegheny home cooking — they kept passing the Buc.


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