Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 09/13/13

Game One Hundred Forty-Seven: Cubs (62-84) vs. Pirates (85-61)

  • Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184/844
  • Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Jake Arrieta (2-2, 4.28/1.22/4.23) vs. Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.44/1.35/3.66)

Jake Arrieta and the Cubs will try to cool off the red-hot Pirates tonight and at the same time post their third win of the 11-game road trip. The Cubs had opportunities on Thursday to take the first game from the Pirates but came up short despite receiving their third quality start in four games.

The Pirates enter play tonight tied with the Cardinals for the top spot in the NL Central. The Pirates have their eye on the NL Central crown, just not a spot in the post-season. The Cubs could make the Pirates’ path to the playoffs a little difficult but they will have to hit better than they did in the opener.

With Charlie Morton on the hill, look for Dale Sveum to load his lineup with as many lefties as possible. Morton has struggled with left handers all season (.331/.350/.438) while right handers have managed a .250/.312/.285 line.

After putting a nine-spot on the board on Tuesday, the Cubs have managed only one run over their last two games. The homer-happy Cubs simply do not score if they don’t hit the ball over the fence, and PNC isn’t exactly a hitter’s park. If the Cubs cannot get to Morton early, it could be another frustrating night for the Cubs’ offense.

Tonight all starts with Jake Arrieta

Which Jake Arrieta will show up tonight? The Jake Arrieta that shutdown the Cardinals and Phillies? Or the Jake Arrieta that faced the Nationals, Dodgers and Brewers? Arrieta has excellent stuff but his lack of consistency is what has derailed his career. If the Cubs can turn him around, they will have a good arm at the top of the rotation for the foreseeable future.

The Brewers took advantage of Arrieta’s command issues and scored four runs on three hits against him in five innings. Arrieta walked three batters and struck out four.

Jake Arrieta is 1-1 in his last two starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP and will make his first start of the year against the Pirates tonight. Arrieta is 2-0 in two career starts versus the Bucs with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP (four runs, 10 hits, three walks and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings). Arrieta won his only start at PNC Park after giving up three runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in five innings. Arrieta last faced the Pirates on June 13, 2012 at Camden Yards.

Pirates Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta

  • Russell Martin – 3-for-14 with a walk
  • Andrew McCutchen – 2-for-6
  • Justin Morneau – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Jose Tabata – 1-for-5 with a walk
  • Neil Walker – 0-for-6
  • Garrett Jones – 1-for-3 with two walks
  • Travis Snider – 1-for-5
  • Pedro Alvarez – 0-for-3
  • Clint Barmes – 0-for-3
  • Josh Harrison – 0-for-3
  • John Buck – 0-for-1

Charlie Morton’s last start was cut short with two outs in the second inning after one of the injuries he’s dealt with over the years popped back up, plantar fasciitis. Charlie Morton says he’s healthy and ready to go. The Cardinals put five runs on the board on six hits against Morton before he left the game.

Charlie Morton had been lights out prior to his short-start against the Redbirds. Morton had not allowed more than two earned runs in each of his previous six starts and was 3-1 in six starts in August with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. While Morton has pitched extremely well, the most important stat … the Pirates are 6-4 in Morton’s last ten starts.

Charlie Morton makes his second start of the season tonight against the Cubs. Morton did not fare too well against the Cubs at Wrigley back on July 6. Morton gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings, with all four runs coming off two swings of the bat from Alfonso Soriano.

For his career, Charlie Morton is 2-4 in seven starts against the Cubs with a 5.80 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Charlie Morton

  • Nate Schierholtz (.274) – 5-for-11 with a double and a triple
  • Darwin Barney (.230) – 1-for-7 with a walk
  • Starlin Castro (.285) – 4-for-9
  • Brian Bogusevic (.308) – 3-for-6 with a walk
  • Welington Castillo (.354) – 2-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Anthony Rizzo (.251) – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Luis Valbuena (.245) – 2-for-3
  • Jake Arrieta (.400) – 1-for-1

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