Game Thirty-Seven: Cubs (21-15) vs. Pirates (17-20)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV Ch. 9, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 187, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jake Arrieta (4-3, 3.00/1.07/2.33) vs. A.J. Burnett (2-1, 1.60/1.16/3.06)
Weather permitting … Joe Maddon hands the ball to Jake Arrieta looking to complete the three-game sweep against the Pirates.
The Cubs are 6-0 on the homestand and have had a very good week. A win on Sunday would make it an excellent homestand and a happy flight to San Diego. The Cubs have six very challenging games ahead of them with three games in San Diego and three in Phoenix before returning home to open a six-game homestand on Memorial Day.
The Cubs were expected to make at least two roster moves prior to today’s game to swap out a reliever for a position player. Reports from Wrigley early Sunday indicated Joe Maddon will have a short bench for another game with a lot of relievers available out of the bullpen.
And the offense will face another test this afternoon with A.J. Burnett on the hill for the Bucs. Burnett is throwing the ball extremely well and has dominated the Cubs throughout his career. It figures to be another day in which the Cubs will have to find ways to score, like Saturday without a hit that drove in a run, in order to take the third of three from the Pirates.
Today all starts with Jake Arrieta …
Jake Arrieta silenced his critics, at least for one day, last time out. Arrieta limited the Mets to one earned run over eight innings. Arrieta struck out a season-high 10 batters and allowed three hits with two walks. Arrieta settled in after a rough first inning and clearly put together his best start of the season.
Jake Arrieta is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
Today is Arrieta’s fifth start of the season at Wrigley. Despite some struggles, Arrieta is 2-2 in the first four with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP at the Friendly Confines. And during his time with the Cubs, Arrieta is 11-4 in 22 starts at Wrigley with a 2.17 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP … 131 strikeouts, 41 walks and 85 hits allowed in 141 1/3 innings.
Arrieta faces the Pirates for the second time on the season today. Arrieta beat the Bucs in Pittsburgh on April 20. Arrieta allowed one run on four hits without a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. For his career, Jake Arrieta is 4-0 in five starts against the Pirates with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta
- Andrew McCutchen: 6-for-14 with two doubles and one walk
- Neil Walker: 2-for-15 with one double
- Pedro Alvarez: 1-for-11 with one home run
- Josh Harrison: 0-for-6
- Starling Marte: 2-for-5
- Francisco Cervelli: 0-for-4
- Jung Ho Kang: 0-for-3
- Gregory Polanco: 1-for-3
- A.J. Burnett: 0-for-2
A.J. Burnett is back to being a dominant starter in his return to the Pirates. Burnett is coming off back-to-back excellent outings against the Reds and Phillies. Burnett limited his former team to two runs, one earned, on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts in seven innings.
A.J. Burnett is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Burnett has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his seven starts this year and he is 1-0 in four road starts with a 1.42 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.
The Cubs beat Burnett earlier this season. Jake Arrieta outpitched Burnett in a 5-2 victory and Burnett gave up one run on eight hits in six innings.
For his career, A.J. Burnett is 7-4 in 14 starts against the Cubs with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP … and at Wrigley Field, 5-1 in eight starts with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against A.J. Burnett
- Starlin Castro: 15-for-32 with three doubles
- Anthony Rizzo: 6-for-23 with two home runs and three walks
- Miguel Montero: 4-for-7 with one double and one walk
- Welington Castillo: 2-for-7 with two doubles and one walk
- Jonathan Herrera: 4-for-6 with two walks
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-6 with one walk
- Chris Coghlan: 0-for-6
- Travis Wood: 1-for-6
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-2 with one walk
- Jorge Soler: 3-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …