Game One Hundred Fifty-Three: Cubs (89-63) vs. Pirates (93-60)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC-7, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester (10-11, 3.46/1.27/3.07) vs. Gerrit Cole (17-8, 2.64/1.10/2.64)
It’s win and in this afternoon as the Cubs kick off the final series of the regular season at Wrigley Field. With the Giants losing the last two nights in San Diego, the Cubs magic number is one. A win today against the Pirates and the Cubs would punch their ticket to the post-season. The Cubs are looking to catch Pittsburgh in order to host the NL Wild Card Game. Joe Maddon’s team enters play this afternoon 3 ½ games behind the Pirates in the standings.
Both teams shuffled their rotation for this series. After today’s match-up of Jon Lester and Gerrit Cole, Jason Hammel takes on Francisco Liriano on Saturday. The series concludes Sunday night with Jake Arrieta opposing A.J. Burnett.
Aramis Ramirez makes what could be his final trip to Wrigley Field this weekend. Ramirez has said he will retire at the end of the season. A report from Bruce Levine a couple of weeks back indicated the Cubs planned to recognize Ramirez’s career with the Cubs this weekend. Ramirez is one of the greatest third basemen in franchise history and played on three division champs.
Today all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester had a rough first inning his last time out. The Cardinals hit a pair of home runs, the second was a two-run shot after the Cubs did not turn a double play. Jason Heyward took out Tommy La Stella at second base. Lester settled in after the opening frame and pitched a good game. Lester is 2-1 in his last four games with a 2.67 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.
Lester gets another shot at the Pirates today. Lester had a good outing in Pittsburgh on Sept. 15. Lester pitched a complete game and allowed one run on five hits with a walk and nine strikeouts. The Pirates have stated publicly how much they look forward to facing Lester. And the Bucs will get another opportunity today.
Jon Lester is 2-0 in two starts versus the Pirates this season with a 1.13 ERA and 1.00 WHIP (two runs on 14 hits with two walks and 16 strikeouts in 16 innings).
Today is Jon Lester’s last start of the regular season at Wrigley Field. Lester is 7-8 in 19 starts at the old ballyard with a 3.66 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.
Pirates Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Sean Rodriguez: 9-for-38 with three doubles, two home runs and four walks
- Francisco Cervelli: 3-for-13 with one double
- Chris Stewart: 3-for-7 with one home run and two walks
- Andrew McCutchen: 1-for-10
- Aramis Ramirez: 5-for-11 with one double
- Travis Snider: 1-for-11 with one home run
- Josh Harrison: 2-for-8
- Neil Walker: 2-for-8
- Starling Marte: 3-for-7 with one double
- Mike Morse: 0-for-5
- Gerrit Cole: 1-for-1
- Pedro Florimon: 0-for-2
- Jordy Mercer: 0-for-1
Unless the Cardinals forget how to win ballgames, if the Cubs are able to punch their ticket to the post-season they will see Gerrit Cole in the Wild Card Game. Cole has put together an excellent season but he could be running out of gas. Cole gave up three runs on six hits to the Dodgers his last time out. Cole did not walk a batter and struck out nine.
Over his last four starts, which includes the game against the Cubs, Cole is 2-1 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Outside of PNC Park this year, Cole is 9-5 in 16 games with a 2.46 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. And he makes his fourth start of the season against the Cubs today.
Gerrit Cole is 1-1 in three starts versus the Cubs with a 2.45 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Cole has allowed seven runs, five earned, on 16 hits with two walks and 24 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings.
Cubs Numbers against Gerrit Cole in 2015
- Starlin Castro: 6-for-16 with one walk
- Anthony Rizzo: 5-for-14 with one double and two walks
- Chris Coghlan: 2-for-11 with one walk
- Dexter Fowler: 3-for-11 with one walk
- Kris Bryant: 2-for-6 with two walks
- Chris Denorfia: 3-for-6 with one double and one walk
- Javier Baez: 1-for-6 with one home run
- Jorge Soler: 2-for-6
- Miguel Montero: 3-for-5
- Tommy La Stella: 1-for-4 with one double
- Addison Russell: 1-for-4
- David Ross: 0-for-3
- Kyle Schwarber: 0-for-3
- Jonathan Herrera: 0-for-2
- Jon Lester: 0-for-2
- Matt Szczur: 1-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …