PITTSBURGH -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle substituted freely and often as Pittsburghs game against the Chicago Cubs wore on Monday night.That had everything to do with the score -- Chicago built a 12-run lead en route to a 12-2 blowout win -- but the Pirates could soon find themselves wanting to rotate in a lot of players for a different reason.Pittsburghs tragic number for being eliminated from the National League wild-card race was reduced to two, meaning the Pirates could be out of a shot for the playoffs as early as Tuesday night when the teams play the second of a four-game series at PNC Park.At that point, like a lot of other teams, Pittsburgh could be reduced to looking at several players who might help them in the future -- a future that will come next year, not in October. Once eliminated, the Pirates only real carrot could be finishing with a winning record.This year is what it is, Hurdle said.While the Pirates (77-79) have lost four of five, the Cubs (100-56) have not hit a lull despite clinching the top record in the major leagues. Chicago won for the sixth time in seven games.Theres a lot of self-motivators out there, a lot of accountable people, Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. Theres a lot of stuff going on right now. Beyond the team goals, we all like to see our guys get a chance to win some personal awards. So its easy.In addition, the Cubs are staying fresh by using a lot of players.Were rotating the stock, Maddon said. Guys are coming in that are fresh. Guys that dont get a chance to play that often, they want to play and show what theyve got.Chicago is so loose in these final days of the regular season that Maddon had no qualms about approaching starter Kyle Hendricks during the fourth inning Monday -- while he was still the active pitcher -- simply to ask Hendricks about the nickname for Dartmouth, where Hendricks attended.Hendricks told him it was the Big Green, settling a question that had been floating around the dugout during the game.I had no idea why he was asking me, Hendricks said with a laugh after he pitched six scoreless innings in the series-opening win.For the second game of this series, Chicago is expected to go with right-hander John Lackey (10-8, 3.39 ERA), who will be making his 29th start. Lackey is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA in his past eight outings.He is 1-2 with a 3.69 ERA in six career starts against Pittsburgh.The Pirates will counter with right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (3-6, 4.85 ERA). After coming back from facial surgery that was necessitated when he was hit by a pitch, he went 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA in his first five starts. However, since then, Vogelsong is 0-3 with a 9.14 ERA in four starts.Against the Cubs, he is 5-8 with a 5.82 ERA in 21 career appearances, including 13 starts. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Miles-Killebrew-Draft-Jersey/ . 10 VCU 85-67 on Thursday night at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Seminoles (4-0) have scored at least 80 points in each of their games. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Deshawn-Shead-Draft-Jersey/ . NBA officials ruled the court unplayable in the Bucks final exhibition game on Oct. 25 because players were slipping, and the game was cancelled midway through the first period. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Tracy-Walker-Draft-Jersey/ . The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy rookie outfielder in the starting lineup. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Jake-Rudock-Draft-Jersey/ . Thats not a comment on the suspension that banished the Portland Winterhawks general manager and coach from his Western Hockey League teams bench for most of the 2012-13 season. http://www.officiallionsgear.com/Lions-Teez-Tabor-Draft-Jersey/ . The Oilers come in having lost five in a row (0-4-1) and 16 of their last 20 games, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Claire Williams says her team cannot allow Force India to win the battle for fourth position because of the financial implications.?Force India climbed above Williams in the constructors championship by finishing fourth and fifth at the Belgian Grand Prix. Williams has finished third for the past two seasons but has slipped down the pecking order in 2016, falling closer to the midfield.Asked if the team can beat Force India to fourth with a strong second half of the season, Williams told ESPN: Weve got some issues at the moment with tyre management and aero etc... I am worried because losing fourth place in the championship means losing quite a lot of dollars as well in your prize money income, so its not something that we can allow to happen and we are going to have to work really hard if we are going to hold them off.I know that Force India would love nothing more than to take fourth place and that for us wouuld be extremely disappointing.dddddddddddd.Williams, who was speaking on Saturday while the team still held fourth, is wary of the financial implications of dropping a place in the championship. With Williams struggling to out-develop its rivals this season there is a concern Force India could pull away in the title battle.I think because youve got the three teams at the top that are taking the top six positions, Williams and Force India and we are scrapping around for one, two, three points and maybe the odd occasion of being bumped up if theres a reliability issue or whatever, so [the battle with Force India] that really does worry me.Thats not what I wanted and thats as a result of some very disappointing races where we should have capitalised on circuits that suited our car but we made a number of mistakes. Cheap Jerseys ChinaCheap NFL JerseysWholesale Jerseys ChinaNike NFL Jerseys ChinaDiscount NFL JerseysWholesale Nike NFL JerseysCheap Jerseys WholesaleChina NFL GearStitched JerseysDiscount JerseysCheap NFL T-shirtsCheap Jerseys 2019Black China NFL JerseysDiscount NFL JerseysWholesale Jerseys 2020 ' ' '