Game One Hundred Forty-Six: Cubs (84-61) vs. Pirates (87-58)
- Game Time – 11:35am CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV Ch. 9, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Kyle Hendricks (7-6, 4.08/1.22/3.47) vs. Charlie Morton (9-7, 4.02/1.27/4.00)
The Cubs wrap-up the 11-game, three city trip today with a shot at winning the series in Pittsburgh. The Cubs are 6-4 in the first 10 with one big game left to play. And Joe Maddon turns to Kyle Hendricks in the final regular season game of the year at PNC.
The Cubs enter play three games behind the Pirates in the standings.
Joe Maddon should have a left-handed heavy starting lineup behind Kyle Hendricks. Look for Tommy La Stella at second base and Hendricks back in the eighth spot of the batting order. Left-handers have hit .277/.370/.398 against Charlie Morton while right-handers have batted only .227/.272/.302 against him. The Cubs must make Morton work and not allow him to settle in.
Kyle Hendricks put together a quality start his last time out. And the Cubs need more of the same from Hendricks this afternoon. Hendricks gave up three runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings to the Phillies while walking two and striking out five. Hendricks has pitched better in each of his previous two starts.
After a miserable August (2-1 in six starts with a 5.40 ERA and 1.52 WHIP), Hendricks is 1-0 in two September starts with a 3.09 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Hendricks is still walking too many batters but he is pitching from ahead in the count again which is a key to his success.
Hendricks has really struggled against the Pirates this year and takes on the Bucs for the fourth time today. Kyle Hendricks is 0-1 in three starts with a 5.63 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. Hendricks has allowed 10 runs on 18 hits with four walks and 15 strikeouts in 16 innings versus Pittsburgh.
Pirates Numbers against Kyle Hendricks in 2015
- Gregory Polanco: 3-for-9 with one double
- Pedro Alvarez: 3-for-8 with one home run
- Neil Walker: 2-for-7 with one double
- Josh Harrison: 2-for-6 with one double
- Jung Ho Kang: 1-for-5 with one walk
- Starling Marte: 1-for-4 with two walks
- Andrew McCutchen: 1-for-5 with one walk
- Jordy Mercer: 1-for-5
- Chris Stewart: 0-for-4
- Francisco Cervelli: 1-for-3 with one double
- Sean Rodriguez: 1-for-2 with one home run
Charlie Morton is having a solid season for the Pirates and ‘Ground Chuck’ is coming off a quality start and a win against the Brewers. Morton allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings. Morton is 1-1 in his last two starts with a 2.25 ERA and 1.00 WHIP … and over his last 11 starts, Morton is 3-5 with a 3.92 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.
Morton has been very good at PNC this year (6-2 in 10 starts with a 3.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP) and he takes on the Cubs for the first time this season.
In 13 career starts, Morton is 3-5 against the Cubs with a 4.71 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. Morton posted a 1-1 mark in four games against the Cubs last season with a 4.32 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. The Cubs must make Morton elevate his fastball and not pound it into the ground. Early patience could lead to a win this afternoon for the Cubs.
Cubs Career Numbers against Charlie Morton
- Starlin Castro: 12-for-27 with one double and three home runs
- Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-18 with two doubles and two walks
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-10 with three walks
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-11 with two walks
- Chris Coghlan: 4-for-10 with one triple, one home run and two walks
- Jonathan Herrera: 2-for-3 with two walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …