wrigley stands crowdHappy Jake Day!

Tonight, the Chicago Cubs return to Wrigley Field to begin a three-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with Jake Arrieta on the mound.

Nothing would please me more than Arrieta finishing the season strong, well-rested, and ready for the playoffs, so let’s pull for another really good, efficient outing tonight.

Notably, tonight marks the third time Arrieta will pitch to Willson Contreras behind the plate – a battery that is likely to feature prominently in the playoffs. And while things didn’t quite go great during their first pairing, the duo looked exceptional their last time out: 8.0 IP, 0 earned runs, 2 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts (and a visual feast from Contreras). Arrieta need not be that good again, though, so long as he keeps the walks down and the Cubs in the game.

Opposing Arrieta and the Cubs is lefty Steven Brault. As Brett mentioned in the lineup discussion earlier today, Brault has only tossed 10.0 Major League innings this year and remains wholly hittable (and a little wild). Given his command troubles in the past, Cubs hitters should try remain patient and let Brault get himself into trouble. In addition, with a lefty on the mound, the Cubs lineup is predictably right-handed. And don’t forget Arrieta can swing it.

First pitch is at 7:05 CT.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (82-47) at Pittsburgh Pirates (67-61), 7:05 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 2.62 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 3.65 xFIP; 2.55 K/BB

versus

Pirates: Steven Brault (L): 3.60 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 5.24 xFIP; 1.60 K/BB



Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup:

1. Josh Harrison, 2B

2. Josh Bell, 1B

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Gregory Polanco, RF

5. Starling Marte, LF

6. David Freese, 3B

7. Francisco Cervelli, C

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. Steven Brault, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Kris Bryant, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Jorge Soler, LF

6. Jason Heyward, RF

7. Willson Contreras, C

8. Javy Baez, SS

9. Jake Arrieta, P




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