Well, Here's a First for Me: Cubs at Pirates, September 24-26, 2019

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Well, Here’s a First for Me: Cubs at Pirates, September 24-26, 2019

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs aren’t mathematically eliminated from the postseason yet, but they have been eliminated from the division, which makes this a first for me.

This is the first Series Preview I have EVER written for Bleacher Nation in the five seasons (2015-2019) I’ve covered where the Cubs are not in contention for the division – let alone on the doorstep of being eliminated from the postseason altogether.

Last season, it took until Game #163 to lose the crown. In 2017, the Cubs won. In 2016, the Cubs won. In 2015, the Cubs won 97-games and took a Wild Card spot, but I wasn’t doing the Series Previews (and it’s not like that team was disappointing in any way). So this is it. The first Series Preview with no hope for the division in mind and no realistic postseason outlook.

It’s eerie. I don’t like it. And I hope this (and the next/final series preview of the year) are the only two I’ll ever have to do like that.

Go Cubs? Or maybe not. Maybe they should lose out for a better draft spot? I guess either go undefeated from here and keep the slim dream alive, or just lose them all?

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (82-74) were just swept in four-straight at Wrigley Field by the St. Louis Cardinals. Their entire season was lost just before their eyes and despite having a say in the matter, couldn’t come up with enough. To make the postseason now, they’ll essentially need to win their final six games and also see either the Brewers or National completely fall on their faces.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (65-91) were just swept in three by the Brewers. Thanks for nothing, jerks.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Tuesday, September 24th at 6:05 CT on NBCSCH, 670 The Score
  • Wednesday, September 25th at 6:05 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
  • Thursday, September 26th at 6:05 CT on NBCSCH, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Kyle Hendricks (R) v. Mitch Keller (R)
Game 2: Jon Lester (L) v. Dario Agrazal (R)
Game 3: TBD v. Joe Musgrove (R)

Chicago Cubs

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Ben Zobrist
  • 3B – David Bote(?)
  • SS – Nico Hoerner
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber
  • CF – Jason Heyward
  • RF – Nicholas Castellanos

Unavailable: Kris Bryant, Xavier Cedeno, Brandon Morrow, Allen Webster

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • C – Elias Diaz
  • 1B – Josh Bell
  • 2B – Adam Frazier
  • 3B – Colin Moran
  • SS – Kevin Newman
  • LF – Bryant Reynolds
  • CF – Starling Marte
  • RF – Melky Cabrera


Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Brad Wieck has thrown exactly 9.0 IP in relief for the Cubs this season. So it’s like he just finished a complete game start (well, it’s not exactly like that, but you get the idea). Here’s his final (LOL-worthy) line: 9.0 IP, 2H, 1ER, 1BB, 17Ks. That’s, uh, pretty freakin’ good.

Cubs Player: Kyle Schwarber145 wRC+ in the second half of the season is the 23rd best mark in all of MLB, ahead of guys like Miguel Sano (144 wRC+), Josh Donaldson (144 wRC+), J.D. Martinez (143 wRC+), and Aaron Judge (143 wRC+). With one more homer, he’ll be tied for the 5th most in baseball in the second half. And he’s doing all of this with a 21.5% strikeout rate, which is better than average.

Pirates Pitcher: Mitch Keller got his teeth knocked in by the Cubs the last time these two teams met (4.1 IP, 7H, 6ER, 2BB, 5Ks). Let’s see if they’ve got that in them again.

Pirates Player: Josh Bell is ending the season quietly, with just a 102 wRC+ in the month of September after a really solid overall season. With that said, he’s actually walking (15.9%) more than he’s striking out (13.6%) this month, so his .386 OBP still plays. He’s good.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami