Game Two: Cubs (0-1) vs. Pirates (1-0)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Edwin Jackson (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Charlie Morton (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)
Weather permitting … The Cubs resume the season tonight in search of Rick Renteria’s first win as a big league manager as well as the team’s first run of the new season. Rick Renteria will debut his left-handed hitting lineup with the righty Charlie Morton on the hill.
While Edwin Jackson begins his redemption tour, as it was labeled on Tuesday, the offense will try to erase the miserable 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position from Opening Day.
The weather for tonight’s game looks questionable but Thursday looks like it could be rained out. Look for the Pirates to try everything they can to get this one in.
Tonight all begins with Edwin Jackson …
Edwin Jackson is coming off a bad season … one both he and his boss agree did not go as planned. Jackson was not able to eat the innings the front office thought he would and seemed to battle himself all year. Jackson seemingly had one bad inning every time he took the mound and if he could correct that, the Cubs might have another trade chip this summer.
Edwin Jackson posted an 8-18 record in 31 starts a year ago with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Outside of Wrigley Field, Jackson was 4-10 in 18 starts with a 5.36 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
For all of his inconsistencies, Jackson pitched rather well against the Pirates last season. Jackson was 2-2 in four starts with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP … at PNC Park, 0-2 in two starts with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson
- Andrew McCutchen: 8-for-20 with two doubles, two home runs and three walks
- Neil Walker: 2-for-15 with one double and three walks
- Clint Barmes: 4-for-16
- Russell Martin: 2-for-15 with one walk
- Pedro Alvarez: 2-for-15 with one home run
- Starling Marte: 5-for-11
- Travis Snider: 1-for-10 with one triple
- Jose Tabata: 0-for-7 with one walk
- Travis Ishikawa: 2-for-6 with one double
- Charlie Morton: 0-for-4
- Gaby Sanchez: 0-for-5 with one walk
- Josh Harrison: 1-for-3
- Jordy Mercer: 0-for-2
Charlie Morton was very good in 20 starts for the Pirates a year ago and Pittsburgh’s front office rewarded him with a three-year, $21 million contract extension. Morton was 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP with nearly a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio (85 strikeouts, 36 walks). Morton says he is healthy and ready to pitch a full season, something he hasn’t done since the Pirates acquired him from Atlanta in 2009 … Morton started 29 games in 2011. For as good as Morton was last year, he was even better at home. Morton was 2-2 in nine starts at PNC Park with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
Morton has struggled during his career against the Cubs. In nine starts, Morton is 2-4 against the Cubs with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. The Cubs faced Charlie Morton three times last season and while he did not beat the Cubs (0-1), he allowed seven runs on 14 hits with six walks and 16 strikeouts in 18 innings (3.50 ERA, 1.11 WHIP).
Cubs Career Numbers against Charlie Morton
- Nate Schierholtz: 5-for-17 with one double, one triple and one walk
- Starlin Castro: 6-for-15
- Darwin Barney: 1-for-10 with one walk
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-9
- Luis Valbuena: 2-for-8 with one walk
- Edwin Jackson: 2-for-6
- Ryan Sweeney: 0-for-3 with one walk
- Jake Arrieta: 1-for-3
- Welington Castillo: 2-for-2 with one double and one walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …