Game Nine: Cubs (3-5) vs. Pirates (5-3)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (0-1, 4.26/1.11/3.70) vs. Gerrit Cole (1-0, 2.57/1.14/5.08)
Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap-up the series with the Pirates this afternoon with a shot at a .500 homestand. After dropping two of three to the Phillies, the Cubs have split the first two games with the Pirates. And while the offense has looked better over the last two days, the Cubs face a big challenge today in Gerrit Cole.
Rick Renteria said Wednesday night that both Mike Olt and Junior Lake would be in the starting lineup this afternoon. Which could shift Luis Valbuena to second and Emilio Bonifacio to center with Olt at third and Lake in left. Right handers have hit better (.255/.306/.323) against Cole during his 20-game big league career than lefties (.250/.296/.292). With Welington Castillo catching the last two games, John Baker should be behind the plate today.
This afternoon all begins with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is coming off a better outing than his final line indicates. Wood picked up his first quality start of the season against the Phillies his last time out. Wood was charged with four runs, three earned, on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Wood kept his team in the game before the Phillies broke it open and pounded the Cubs in the home opener.
For as good as Travis Wood was a year ago, like many of his teammates, he was better on the road than in his home park. Wood was 4-8 in 18 starts at Wrigley last year with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while teams hit .226 against him. On the road, Wood 5-4 in 14 starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP and teams hit .216 against him.
Travis Wood missed the Pirates last week and is 4-5 in 10 games, nine starts, with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP for his career. Wood was 1-1 in three starts versus the Bucs last season with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Travis Wood
- Andrew McCutchen: 2-for-18 with one double and five walks
- Clint Barmes: 2-for-15 with one double and one walk
- Gaby Sanchez: 1-for-12 with four walks
- Pedro Alvarez: 1-for-15 with one double
- Starling Marte: 2-for-14 with one triple, one home run and one walk
- Neil Walker: 4-for-13 with one double and one walk
- Jose Tabata: 3-for-12 with two doubles, one triple and one walk
- Russell Martin: 3-for-9 with one double
- Josh Harrison: 2-for-7 with one triple
- Jordy Mercer: 2-for-5 with two doubles and one walk
- Travis Snider: 1-for-3 with one walk
- Tony Sanchez: 1-for-3 with one home run
Gerrit Cole is the best starting pitcher on the Pirates staff. Cole is coming off a very good rookie campaign in which he posted a 10-7 record in 19 starts with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Cole was slotted down in the Pirates rotation to start the season, but he figures to be a big key to their season.
Cole is coming off a dominant start against the Cardinals. Cole held the Redbirds to two runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings.
Gerrit Cole makes his third career start (2-0 in two starts) against the Cubs this afternoon. Cole held the Cubs to three runs on 12 hits in two starts (13 innings) a year ago with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Cole made one of the two starts at Wrigley and allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings with one walks and six strikeouts.
Cubs Career Numbers against Gerrit Cole
- Starlin Castro: 3-for-6 with one walk
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-5 with one double
- Nate Schierholtz: 2-for-5 with one double
- Ryan Sweeney: 1-for-4
- Luis Valbuena: 0-for-4
- Darwin Barney: 1-for-2
- Junior Lake: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Justin Ruggiano: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …