Alright. It’s a new day, a new game, and the Pirates owe us one, after indirectly allowing a great reliever like Juan Nicasio to fall cheaply into the Cardinal’s lap.
Gerrit Cole is on the mound for the Pirates tonight, and while he has thrown a few gems this year, he’s mostly just flipped between good and terrible. Indeed, his last two starts (both against the Reds) do a nice job of showing us just how unevenly his season has gone:
August 26: 7.0 IP, 5H, 0ER, 0BB, 6Ks
September 1: 6.0 IP, 6H, 5ER, 3BB, 6Ks
Hopefully, the Cubs get the September version of Cole tonight and stop this three game losing streak from getting any bigger. After all, their lead in the Central is still quite reachable for both the Brewers and Cardinals, with plenty of games to play.
Starting for the Cubs tonight is Jose Quintana. Quintana’s last start was an odd one, because although he struck out nine batters and walked none, he allowed yet a another home run, and, ultimately, three earned runs in six innings. It was a quality start, and that’s great, but he’s capable of so much more than that and the Cubs are ready to see it.
Oh, and one thing you might hope for Quintana this afternoon is more ground balls. He posted just a 38.5% ground ball rate in his last start and just a 42.9% mark in the start before that. He should be closer to the upper 40s if he really wants to succeed, so maybe we’ll see some of that starting this evening.
Game time is 6:05, and the Cubs have their work cut out for them. Let’s see if they can get it done.
Chicago Cubs (75-63) at Pittsburgh Pirates (67-72) – 6:05 CT on WGN, 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: Jose Quintana (L): 4.49 ERA, 4.00 FIP, 3.93 xFIP; 3.00 K/BB
Pirates: Gerrit Cole (R): 4.11 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 3.87 xFIP; 3.72 K/BB
- Starling Marte, LF
- Jordan Luplow, RF
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- David Freese, 3B
- Jose Osuna, 1B
- Sean Rodriguez, 2B
- Jordy Mercer, SS
- Chris Stewart, C
- Gerrit Cole, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jon Jay, LF
- Tommy La Stella, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Alex Avila, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jose Quintana, P