Series Preview: Cubs at Pirates, April 12 - April 13, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Pirates, April 12 – April 13, 2022

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs kicked the season off right late last week, taking two of three from Milwaukee, before running into the off-day on Monday. Now, they’re heading out on the road for two against the Pirates, followed by four against the Rockies. Without a break in between, the Cubs will then head home for three against the Rays and four more against the Pirates. It’s 13 games in 13 days and I’m very happy about it.

Remember, though, this is one of the easier stretches the Cubs have in the first-half of the season, so they must take advantage.

Oh, we’ve also got some very strange start times coming up, including a 3:12pm CT game this afternoon, an 11:35 am CT game tomorrow morning, and a 7:40pm CT start on Thursday night. Baseball’s back, and that’s great, but how weird?

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (2-1) took two of three from the Brewers (who went on to drop their first game against the Orioles yesterday), but had one game postponed until the end of May. It was a very nice start against some very tough pitchers, but they’ll have to carry it forward against the weaker opponents, as well.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2) were destroyed by the Cardinals in the first two games of the series (outscored 15-2), but stole one on Sunday with an offensive outburst.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Tuesday, April 12th at 3:12 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Wednesday, April 13th at 11:35 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Drew Smyly (L) vs. Jose Quintana (L)
Game 2: Kyle Hendricks (R) vs. Zach Thompson (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Frank Schwindel
•   2B – Nick Madrigal
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Nico Hoerner
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Jason Heyward
•   RF – Seiya Suzuki
•   DH – Rafael Ortega

Unavailable: Wade Miley, Andrelton Simmons, Alec Mills, David Bote, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer

Pittsburgh Pirates

•   C – Roberto Perez
•   1B – Michael Chavis
•   2B – Josh Vanmeter
•   3B – Ke’Bryan Hayes
•   SS – Kevin Newman
•   LF – Ben Gamel
•   CF – Bryan Reynolds
•   RF – Cole Tucker
•   DH – Daniel Vogelbach

Unavailable: Luis Oviedo, Max Kranick, Anthony Alford, Sam Howard, Duane Underwood Jr., Nick Mears, Blake Cederlind, Greg Allen

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: +9
Pirates: -8

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: +6.00
Pirates: -8.00

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 3.00
Pirates: 6.33

What to Watch

Kyle Hendricks had a great first start of the season, striking out 7 Brewers over 5.1 innings of 1-run baseball. His changeup was particularly devastating that day, but only because he was able to establish his fastball low and away. Look for him to follow a similar path against the Pirates tomorrow morning. And hopefully, as he continues to stretch out, he’ll be able to go even deeper into ballgames.

Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki have been the Cubs hottest hitters of the season. Happ grabbed five hits (including 2 doubles), a walk, and a HBP in his first 9 plate appearances, before being hit on the knee and removed from the game on Saturday. He sat out on Sunday, and had the off-day Monday, but I wonder if we’ll see him sit one more game against a lefty today. Suzuki, meanwhile, has been the patience king, walking four times in his first 13 PAs, adding three hits including a homer. He’ll definitely be in there today.

Clint Frazier and Michael Hermosillo might both grab their first starts of the season today against the lefty (and old friend) Jose Quintana.

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Author: Michael Cerami

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