Game Fifteen: Cubs (8-6) vs. Pirates (7-8)
- Game Time – 11:35am CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
- Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 6.10/1.16/2.49) vs. Jeff Locke (2-0, 1.93/0.86/2.36)
The weather is not expected to be a factor today as the Cubs and Pirates wrap up the four-game series. After taking the first two games, the Cubs can still post a rare series victory in Pittsburgh this afternoon with a win behind Kyle Hendricks.
Joe Maddon should have an even shorter bench today than he’s been working with all week. Dexter Fowler is listed as day-to-day after leaving last night’s game with groin tightness. Travis Wood better make sure to participate in pre-game stretch because he could see some playing time today.
Today all starts with Kyle Hendricks …
Kyle Hendricks rebounded nicely from his first start of the season his last time out against the Padres. Hendricks was in line for the win until the bullpen imploded in the ninth inning. Hendricks gave up a two-run homer to Matt Kemp in the first inning and that was all. Hendricks shut down the Padres for the other five innings he was on the hill. Hendricks looked a lot like the pitcher that surprised many in the game last season.
Outside of Wrigley a year ago, Hendricks was 3-1 in six starts with a 2.95 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Hendricks limited opponents in their park to 28 hits and 10 walks in 39 2/3 innings. And the Cubs will need that type of performance from him this afternoon in order to leave Pittsburgh with a win under their belt.
Kyle Hendricks missed the Pirates last season. Today is his first career appearance versus the Bucs.
Lefty Jeff Locke had two very good outings against the Brewers to start his season. And because of only facing the one team, that is a mess right now, Locke’s numbers are a little skewed. Locke held the Brewers to two runs on seven hits in six innings at Miller Park on April 10. His last time out at PNC Park, Locke gave up one run on four hits in eight innings to the Brewers. Locke didn’t walk a batter and struck out six.
Today is the first time Locke has faced a team other than Milwaukee since Spring Training.
Jeff Locke makes his sixth career start against the Cubs today. Locke is 1-1 in the first five with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Locke faced the Cubs one time a year ago and took the loss after allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Felix Doubront beat Locke last September at PNC. Javier Baez hit a two-run homer off Locke in the third inning.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jeff Locke
- Anthony Rizzo: 3-for-10 with one double, one home run and two walks
- Starlin Castro: 1-for-10
- Welington Castillo: 1-for-5 with two walks
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-7
- Dexter Fowler: 0-for-2 with one walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …