Game One Hundred Eleven: Cubs (46-64) vs. Pirates (42-69)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Rich Hill (1-4, 7.92) vs. Ian Snell (9-7, 4.66)
One game does not make a career and while Rich Hill was very good his last outing against the Diamondbacks, the big question for today….can he repeat his performance? Hill looked like the dominating Triple-A pitcher that the Cubs had been waiting to emerge as an effective starter in the Majors. Hill showed a very good fastball that allowed him to get hitters out and one that made his devastating curve ball that more effective. Hill must show the Cubs brass he has what it takes to be successful at this level on a consistent basis. The Cubs look to win the series and finish the 11-game homestand at 8-3, no matter what the outcome is after today’s game this will be the first homestand since April the Cubs have a winning record, which is an improvement to say the least. They have played very well against teams in the playoff hunt but like the entire season, played down to the level of their competition as well. How does a team get shutout by the Pirates, yet sweep the Cardinals? All in all this homestand has seen good starting pitching, arguably the best string of offense that the Cubs have displayed this entire season and a great bullpen.
Ian Snell takes the ball for the Bucs today; the Cubs beat him back on April 16th in Pittsburgh, that was the game that Angel Pagan was injured. Snell threw just 5 innings and gave up 6 runs on 6 hits. Snell has been a disappointment for the Bucs this season and if the Cubs can get out to an early lead, the young right hander will crumble on the mound….mental toughness is not his forte. Snell of late has been successful largely due to the fact that teams are not making him work, they are attempting to get out to an early lead, not taking what Snell is giving them and not allowing him time to work himself into trouble. Snell has not allowed more than 4 earned runs in his last 12 starts and as pitched into the 7th inning in six of those starts, throwing over 100 pitches only twice. Aggressiveness is not the way to beat Snell, patience is….he will throw strikes it is just up to the Cubs to be opportunistic early and get him out of his game.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….