In terms of results, Adrian Sampson’s last four starts have been surprisingly great:
@STL: 5.0 IP, 4H, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
vsCIN: 6.0 IP, 5H, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
@NYM: 6.0 IP, 2H, 0ER, 4BB, 3K
@MIA: 6.0 IP, 8H, 1ER, 1BB, 3K
That’s good for three straight quality starts, a 1.57 ERA, and a .238 batting average against. Unfortunately, while the results are great, the peripherals are much less convincing. The strikeout rate is TINY (12.6%), the contact has been HARD (89.2 MPH average EV, 44.9 hard%), the BABIP is unsustainably low (.265), and the strand rate is unusually high (89.4%). So I’m sorry to keep raining on this parade, but I just don’t see this stretch as anywhere near as impressive as the top-line numbers suggest. I hope he keeps proving me wrong, though. Maybe there’s some gamesmanship I can’t detect. I don’t know.
For what it’s worth, Sampson faced Pittsburgh once already this season and had pretty great results: 7.0 IP, 6H, 2ER, 1BB, 3Ks. He had the contact well under control in that one, however (84 MPH, 26.1 hard%).
The Cubs are still two games over .500 in the second half and are an even 9-9 against the Pirates this season. This is the last game between these two teams this year, so this one is for all the marbles.
Chicago Cubs (66-86) at Pittsburgh Pirates (56-96) – Sunday, September 25 at 12:35 CT on Marquee, 670 The Score
Pirates: Luis Ortiz, RHP
Cubs: Adrian Sampson, RHP
Chicago Cubs (Lineup Discussion):
- Zach McKinstry, SS
- Esteban Quiroz, 2B
- Patrick Wisdom, 3B
- Ian Happ, LF
- Nico Hoerner, DH
- Franmil Reyes, RF
- P.J. Higgins, C
- Alfonso Rivas, 1B
- Michael Hermosillo, C