Game Thirteen: Cubs (7-5) vs. Pirates (6-7)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV Ch. 9 – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Travis Wood (1-1, 2.31/1.20/1.98) vs. Francisco Liriano (0-1, 2.08/0.77/3.78)
Weather permitting … The Cubs turn to Travis Wood tonight looking for the second straight win over the Pirates.
All eyes will be on Addison Russell as he makes his big league debut tonight. Russell is expected in the starting lineup at second base and should give another boost to a team that as Joe Maddon said is playing with a lot of verve right now.
Joe Maddon could use another long, efficient outing from Travis Wood in order to give the pen as much of the night off as possible. Wood was very good his last time out and has pitched well over the course of his career at PNC Park. The Pirates have been a challenge to Wood but his best games against the Bucs have come in their park.
Maddon should run out a balanced lineup against Francisco Liriano just to change his angles and not allow him to get comfortable facing eight right handed batters and Anthony Rizzo. Lefties put up good numbers against Liriano last season. The Cubs must make Liriano work. It will be interesting to see the approach the young hitters use against the veteran southpaw.
Tonight all starts with Travis Wood …
Travis Wood is coming off one of the best starts of his Cubs career. Wood completed seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball against the Reds. Wood struck out seven and walked two. Wood had very good control last Wednesday at Wrigley. Wood appeared to find a rhythm, threw quality strikes and worked well with Miguel Montero.
Tonight is Wood’s third start of the season and he will look to show he is closer to the pitcher that took the ball five days ago than the one that put together a serviceable start in Denver.
In his first two games this season, Travis Wood has allowed three runs on 10 hits with four walks and 12 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings … a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio is a must for Wood and he put his team in position to win the game his last time out.
Like so many of his teammates, Wood hasn’t performed well against the Pirates. In 14 games, 13 starts, over the course of his career, Wood is 5-7 versus the Bucs with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Last season Wood was 1-2 in four starts against Pittsburgh with a 6.63 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP (14 runs on 26 hits with nine walks and 16 strikeouts in 19 innings). As a team the Pirates hit .329 against Wood. At PNC Park, Wood owns a 5-1 mark in seven games, six starts, with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Travis Wood
- Andrew McCutchen: 7-for-27 with one double, two home runs and seven walks
- Starling Marte: 6-for-21 with one double, one triple, one home run and two walks
- Neil Walker: 7-for-18 with two doubles, one home run and one walk
- Pedro Alvarez: 1-for-18
- Josh Harrison: 4-for-13 with one double and one triple
- Jordy Mercer: 5-for-11 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
- Corey Hart: 4-for-12 with three doubles
- Gregory Polanco: 1-for-6 with one walk
- Tony Sanchez: 2-for-6 with one home run
- Francisco Liriano: 0-for-5
- Sean Rodriguez: 1-for-3
Francisco Liriano is off to a good start this season. After limiting the Reds to two runs on two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in his first start, Liriano gave up just one run on four hits in six innings to the Tigers. Liriano walked only one batter and struck out seven. The lone run by the Tigers came on a Rajai Davis home run. The Pirates lost the game 1-0.
Francisco Liriano is one of the reasons for the Pirates dominance over the Cubs. Liriano has put together some of his best games with the Pirates against the Cubs. In nine career starts, Liriano is 4-2 against the Cubs with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Last season, Liriano was 1-0 in three starts against the Cubs with a 1.20 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. The Cubs managed only 10 hits with five walks over 15 innings while Liriano struck out 23 batters.
Cubs Career Numbers against Francisco Liriano
- Starlin Castro: 2-for-20 with three walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 3-for-18 with one home run and two walks
- Welington Castillo: 4-for-12 with one home run and three walks
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-4 with two walks
- Travis Wood: 1-for-4 with one walk
- David Ross: 0-for-3
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …