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 9 min 58 sec ago (view)
Even worse for StL. 7 vs Cubs, 3 vs Nationals
The fate of Cubs and Cardinals season is going to come down to 7 games against one another. Cubs gotta win 5 if they want to win division I think. Good thing 4 of 7 are at Wrigley.
crunch 3 hours 23 min ago (view)
13 games left for CHC...7 vs STL
13 games left for MIL...all vs teams under .500 (SD, PIT, CIN, COL)
buckle up...it's gonna be a "fun" couple of weeks.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 46 min ago (view)
The way MIL is playing makes me... uneasy. Too bad we didn’t bury them. Especially because they won’t play anyone with a winning record from here on out.
That said, much as I LOATHE the team and fans at Wrigley North, I’d still rather see them take the division than the shitbirds.
crunch 19 hours 20 min ago (view)
bote really needs to overcome his weird habbit of trying to duck under high/inside pitches rather than leaning out of them.
crunch 19 hours 23 min ago (view)
47 cubs runs in this 3 game series...14 HRs.
crunch 19 hours 36 min ago (view)
STL up by 1...MIL with 2 outs, bases loaded, top 9th.
r.braun grand slam. MIL leads by 3.
barring some crazy comebacks, STL's lead should shrink to 2 games.
crunch 20 hours 12 min ago (view)
sprained right ankle for rizzo...xray showed no break...MRI tomorrow
crunch 20 hours 13 min ago (view)
zobrist or heyward missing a base...probably heyward, but it wasn't clear from the cubs broadcast. kemp scored on the screwed up appeal throw.
bradsbeard 20 hours 21 min ago (view)
I guess that Kemp missed a base? I really don’t know.
Mike Wellman 20 hours 23 min ago (view)
Wtf were Bucs appealing?
crunch 21 hours 9 min ago (view)
PIT is playing some embarrasingly horrible baseball.
giving up a run throwing away a ball on an appeal toss to 3rd is new territory for awful.
Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 42 min ago (view)
Q is so GD mediocre
crunch 21 hours 44 min ago (view)
...and Q shits the bed in the 3rd as PIT takes the lead without an out being recorded.
crunch 21 hours 51 min ago (view)
rizzo just f'd his ankle.
rolled pretty badly planting his foot going after a ball. he's rolling around on the ground and not getting up.
Mike Wellman 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
One 2 women umps in MiLB worked the SB series. Pal of our son’s from LL days was SB clubhouse mgr. this year. He spoke highly of Emma’s work but said visiting teams often did not. Also spoke highly of B-Zo on his brief rehab stay when he bought the team McD’s, a la Prez Dollar Menu. So, 2 Cub branches made playoffs so far. Can the big Cubs make it 3?
JustSayin' 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
South Bend won seven post-season games. No team they played won any against them. So the Midwest League Cubs run the table and win the Championship! A couple recurring offensive stars, solid defense and lots of strong pitching did the trick.