A new day, a new series.
There’s nothing like afternoon baseball, is there? Not only do we get the Cubs in our lives earlier than usual, it’s an excuse for an afternoon beer!
The Cubs are opening up a three-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend. And if I squint hard enough, I think I can see the Pirates as the team most likely to contend with the Cubs in the Central this year.
They’ve gotten off to a rocky start, and have lost their last four straight (including three against the Reds), but they’ve still got a talented team and a upside-laden rotation.
Indeed today, the Pirates are sending their de-facto ace, Gerrit Cole, to the mound. I say “de-facto” ace, but he’s really just their ace. The only rub is that he’s had just just one season (out of four) with more than 138 innings pitched and made just 21 starts last season with a 3.88 ERA. Even still, we all saw what he did in 2015 (2.60 ERA over 208.0 IP), so there’s still plenty to be feared. For what it’s worth, lefties have hit him a bit better than righties over his career.
Opposing Cole and the Pirates is the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks’ first start with the Cubs wasn’t great by his usual standards (6.0 IP, 5H, 4ER), but he did limit the walks to just one and struck out six. That was enough to get the Cubs a win.
If you missed it earlier, Luis will be at the game today, so if you see him, give him a wave.
Speaking of waving:
Cubs playing the Pirates in a Friday afternoon game at Wrigley Field? Ah, memories … pic.twitter.com/Z8EhcXOkX9
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) April 14, 2017
Chicago Cubs (6-3) at Pittsburgh Pirates (3-6) – 1:20 on WGN, MLBN, 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun today.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (R): 2.13 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 3.59 xFIP; 3.86 K/BB (2016)
Pirates: Gerrit Cole (R): 3.88 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 4.02 xFIP; 2.00 K/BB (2016)
Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup:
- Josh Harrison, 2B
- Starling Marte, CF
- Andrew McCutchen, RF
- Gregory Polanco, LF
- David Freese, 3B
- John Jaso, 1B
- Francisco Cervelli, C
- Jordy Mercer, SS
- Gerrit Cole, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Miguel Montero, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P
- Javy Baez, 2B