Cubs @ Pirates: Series Thread (Games 122-124)
The Cubs may want to flee the state after that performance in Philadelphia, but they only make it as far as the western side of Pennsylvania. There, they find the last place Pirates waiting for them. The Pirates ended an 8-game skid by taking the first two in their last series, against the Angels. The Pittsburgh club is firmly in the role of spoiler following that 8-game losing streak and a 9-game losing streak that lead them into the trade deadline. The Cubs head into the series in a tie with the Cardinals and only 1 game ahead of the Brewers. See below for the matchups.
Game 122, Friday, August 16, 6:05pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-9, 3.48 ERA)
PIT: RHP Joe Musgrove (8-11, 4.71 ERA)
Hendricks only went 2.2 in Cincinnati for his last start and allowed seven earned runs, including three homeruns. It was easily his worst start of the season so far. He faced the Pirates on July 2 and surrendered two earned runs in three innings of work. Adam Frazier is 4-8 off of him with a homerun. Gregory Polanco and his 10-28 and two homeruns off Hendricks are on the IL.
Musgrove lost to the Cardinals last time out (thanks). He allowed three earned runs on six hits and three walks in 5.1 innings pitched. He's 0-1 in two starts against the Cubs this season having allowed four runs, two earned, on only five hits and two walks in 9.1 innings. Current Cubs are 17-97 off of him with a single homerun and 9 walks. If you're following along that = terrible.
Game 123: Saturday, August 17, 12:35pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (9-8, 4.43 ERA)
PIT: LHP Steven Brault (3-1, 4.33 ERA)
Lester allowed three earned runs in five innings in Cincinnati last weekend. He's 1-0 in two Wrigley starts against the Pirates this season, allowing three runs, one earned, in 9.1 innings pitched. Josh Bell is 6-22 with one homerun off of him.
Brault swung back into the rotation at the end of May and has been decent there since, although he finds himself exiting the game around the fifth inning in about half his outings. Last time out he went 4.2 and allowed four earned runs in a no decision to the Cardinals. He pitched three innings in relief against the Cubs on April eighth and allowed four earned runs. The Cubs have hammered him for a .990 OPS in 105 at bats. Bryant is 7-12 with a homerun, three walks, and zero strikeouts off of him. Javy is 5-9 with a homerun, three walks, and zero strikeouts.
Game 124: Sunday, August 18, 6:10pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (10-7, 4.11 ERA)
PIT: RHP Mitch Keller (1-1, 7.94 ERA)
Quintana set a career high with 14 strikeouts in his last start and has been great in his last two. He's allowed two earned runs on seven hits and one walk vs. 21 strikeouts in his last 13 innings pitched. He's won all three of his starts against the Pirates this season, allowing three earned runs and collecting 21 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched against them. The three Pirates who have had some success against him--Cervelli, Osuna, and Polanco--are all unavailable at the beginning of this series. My superstitious side thinks there are too many ducks lined up here and that Cubbery must be imminent.
Perhaps that cubbery comes in the form of a rookie pitcher the Cubs have never faced. Mitch Keller is 1-1 in his first four MLB starts. He hasn't been especially efficient, striking out more than a batter per inning but also allowing 4.24 walks per nine and posting a low groundball rate. His fastball has averaged 95.7 MPH, and he'll mix a slider, a curve, and the occasional changeup. No Cubs have faced him.
Dolorous Jon Lester 41 min 11 sec ago (view)
Lots of games where they failed to add on.
Lots of games Strop has single handedly blown, too.
Charlie 1 hour 11 min ago (view)
There are so many candidates. The early season losing streak comes painfully to mind.
Charlie 1 hour 11 min ago (view)
JHey's swing looks like it slipped into groundout mode. That Nico lineout was heartbreaking. :(
Charlie 1 hour 12 min ago (view)
Threw Vanmeter a curve and changeup that both looked great on TV, though Vanmeter didn't offer.
Mike Wellman 2 hours 57 min ago (view)
First thing I'll point to, depending on the final order of finish, is the fact that, for the second year in a row we took the lead off of Hader in the 8th inning of a key late-season game @ Milwaukee & couldn't keep it. The second thing will be the game we led 5-0 after 7 & managed to lose. Nats next face Marlins. Cards come to town licking their chops/beaks to finish us off...
Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 3 min ago (view)
They’re toast. Can’t finish games, can’t finish series, and it looks very much like they won’t finish this season.
Hagsag 7 hours 20 min ago (view)
The Cubbies are in a tough situation. If they make the playoffs, they will have earned it!. Enjoy the ride folks.
Eric S 13 hours 47 min ago (view)
Reds win season series 11-8 - possibly the first thing you point to should the Cubs miss the post season
Eric S 13 hours 53 min ago (view)
Long looking swing for JHey ... and Nico - oof
Eric S 13 hours 54 min ago (view)
Heard Len say Descalso’s name and about had a heart attack. Then heard him say “pinch runner” and settled down a bit
Charlie 13 hours 59 min ago (view)
Contreras's receiving didn't do Norwood any favors in that Vanmeter at-bat. And Norwood needed some favors.
Eric S 14 hours 4 min ago (view)
Gotta do better than three hits in nine innings in a start by Mahle - this one is on the bats
crunch 14 hours 9 min ago (view)
4th pitcher of the inning coming in...neat
crunch 14 hours 13 min ago (view)
crunch 14 hours 21 min ago (view)
i'm all about kemp protecting a lead in the last few innings or getting to play after some pinch running, but that dude's bat is getting way too much work. now that getting him starts isn't a priority he's still getting a lot of early shots off the bench at the plate.
i hope to not see him next season.
Eric S 14 hours 24 min ago (view)
Until Russell gets off the concussion protocol and/or Baez returns, Kemp may be the best option at second for defense, but Bote certainly better there defensively than Happ or Zobrist