Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

pnc parkThe Cubs are going with a bullpen day today for the final game against the Pirates until next year.

Rob Zastryzny will take the ball first, in what will be his first start for the Cubs this season. But although he’s worked primarily out of the pen, nearly half of his appearances have been multi-inning affairs (but we’re talking about a super small sample).

In his 12.1 innings of work, Zastryzny has amassed a 1.46 ERA (2.01 FIP), with a wonderful 25.5% k-rate and 5.9% walk rate. Earlier today, Brett took an early look at the expected playoff roster, and Zastryzny appears to be one of those guys right on the bubble. That said, his ability to go multiple innings might prove invaluable (although Mike Montgomery is a similar, but more experienced version of Zastryzny at the moment). Perhaps he will make a final, lasting impression tonight.

Opposing Zastryzny and the Chicago Cubs is rightly Ivan Nova. Nova, 29, came over to the Pirates from the Yankees at the trade deadline earlier this season. Since then, he’s made ten starts for Pittsburgh, recording a 3.49 ERA (but a much better 2.74 FIP) in the process. Over that stretch (59.1 IP) he’s also struck out a very solid 47 batters, while allowing just three measly walks. In short, he’s been good and figures to still be good tonight against the Cubs. Given his general stinginess on free passes, the Cubs will have to be aggressive in the zone.

As noted in the Lineup Discussion, lots of the regulars are getting the day off in this one. It’s kind of like a bullpen day, and a bench day.

First pitch is at 6:05 CT.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (101-57) at Pittsburgh Pirates (78-80), 6:05 CT on WGN, 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 hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Rob Zastryzny (L): 1.46 ERA, 2.00 FIP, 3.49 xFIP; 4.33 K/BB


Pirates: Ivan Nova (R): 4.37 ERA, 4.20 FIP, 3.76 xFIP; 4.36 K/BB

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup:

1. Jordy Mercer, SS

2. Josh Bell, RF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Jung-Ho Kang, 3B

5. Sean Rodriguez, LF

6. David Freese, 1B

7. Alen Hanson, 2B

8. Eric Fryer, C

9. Ivan Nova, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Tommy La Stella, 3B

2. Albert Almora Jr., CF

3. Addison Russell, SS

4. Willson Contreras, C

5. Javy Baez, 1B

6. Matt Szczur, RF

7. Tim Federowicz, C

8. Munenori Kawasaki, 2B

9. Rob Zastryzny, P

Keep Reading BN ...

« | »