Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

pnc parkHappy Jake Arrieta Day!

One of these starts, Arrieta’s going to have a bad outing. By the laws of the universe, it just has to happen at some point, doesn’t it? He’s been so unspeakably good every time out for so long that I’m bracing myself for something resembling human. He keeps pitching like a super-human, though. Maybe he will again tonight.

Yesterday, the Cubs got a look at a possible Wild Card opposing starter in Gerrit Cole, and they were solid enough to get him out of the game in the 7th, though he did strike out eight and walk no one. How will the Pirates fare against the guy they might have to beat on October 7?

For his part, Arrieta is going for “win” number 20 on the year, a figure that has a great deal of historical significance, even if it has absolutely no actual statistical, evaluative, or predictive significance.

One more on Arrieta, since I’ll just make this whole thing about him: he bats 9th tonight, which makes some sense in terms of delaying the decision about pinch-hitting for him as long as possible (since he – like Jon Lester, who also batted 9th recently – is more likely to go deep into the game than other starters).

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (83-61) at Pittsburgh Pirates (87-57), 6:05 CT on CSN, ESPN and

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta (1.99 ERA, 2.52 FIP, 2.74 xFIP; 4.43 K/BB)


A.J. Burnett (3.14 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 3.56 xFIP; 3.08 K/BB)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Gregory Polanco, RF

2. Starling Marte, LF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Aramis Ramirez, 1B

5. Jung-Ho Kang, 3B

6. Neil Walker, 2B

7. Francisco Cervelli, C

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. A.J. Burnett, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Kyle Schwarber, LF

3. Chris Coghlan, RF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Kris Bryant, 3B

6. Miguel Montero, C

7. Starlin Castro, 2B

8. Javier Baez, SS

9. Jake Arrieta, P

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