After unexpectedly losing a series to the Phillies over the weekend, it would be absolutely lovely if the Cubs could lock down this series win against the Pirates tonight.
And hey, Jake Arrieta is on the mound for Chicago, and he’s been as good as any starter on the team for a good long while now. Indeed, his last start, which came against the Reds, wasn’t especially long (5.2 IP), but it was really quite good: 5.2 IP, 4H, 1ER, 3BB, 8Ks. Before that game, he had gone at least 6.0 IP with 2 or fewer earned runs in seven straight games.
Over his past ten starts (dating back to the beginning of July), Arrieta has a 1.85 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 2.95 K/BB ratio, and an absolutely brilliant 23.6% hard hit rate (league average is around 32%). He’s just been good.
Starting opposite Arrieta, is Pirates righty Chad Kuhl. As we explored earlier today in the lineup post, Kuhl has been much tougher on righties than lefties this season/for his career, which is why Maddon has loaded the lineup with southpaws.
In his last two starts, Kuhl has allowed just a combined 3 earned runs, BUT he lasted just 9.0 innings total, and walked six batters during that stretch. As a matter of fact, he was ridiculously wild in his last start against the Dodgers, walking 23.8% of the batters he faced. If he brings that lack of control to a Cubs team that loves to be patient, he’ll probably run into some trouble.
Hopefully, that’s what happens.
Chicago Cubs (70-60) at Pittsburgh Pirates (63-69) – 7:05 CT on CSN-C+, 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: Jake Arrieta (R): 3.49 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 4.03 xFIP; 2.98 K/BB
Pirates: Chad Kuhl (R): 4.52 ERA, 3.99 FIP, 4.62 xFIP; 1.90 K/BB
- Starling Marte, LF
- Josh Harrison, 2B
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- Josh Bell, 1B
- David Freese, 3B
- John Jaso, RF
- Jordy Mercer, SS
- Chris Stewart, C
- Chad Kuhl, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Tommy La Stella, 2B
- Alex Avila, C
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jake Arrieta, P