Game One Hundred Forty-Four: Cubs (82-61) vs. Pirates (87-56)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV Ch. 9, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Jon Lester (9-10, 3.50/1.18/3.01) vs. J.A. Happ (5-1, 1.79/0.99/2.23)
Joe Maddon turns to Jon Lester in the nightcap of the twin bill to snap the Cubs’ skid. The Cubs have lost three games in a row after dropping the opener of the doubleheader and need for Lester to shut down the Pirates while the Cubs attempt to figure out J.A. Happ. The Pirates will look to run early and often once they get on-base tonight. And it will be up to Lester and David Ross to slow them down as much as possible.
Joe Maddon will run out a right-handed lineup tonight with the lefty J.A. Happ on the hill. Maddon should run out a balanced batting order instead. Lefties (.281/.308/.396) have had more success against Happ this season than righties (.257/.313/.368).
Jon Lester had a better outing in St. Louis than his critics are willing to admit. Lester held the Cardinals to one run on two hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. Lester shut the Redbirds down after the first inning and retired 20 of the last 21 batters he faced … the run and both hits off Lester came in the first inning. Joe Maddon pulled Lester too early and it cost the Cubs a win.
Over his last two games, Lester is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Lester has allowed three runs on seven hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts in 12 innings. Lester is 5-2 in his last 10 starts with a 3.34 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
Outside of Wrigley this year, Lester is 2-3 in 10 starts with a 3.43 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Lester makes his third start, second officially, of the season against the Pirates. Lester beat the Pirates at Wrigley back on May 16. Lester allowed one run on nine hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. The only run off Lester came on a Sean Rodriguez home run.
Jon Lester is 1-1 in two career starts against the Pirates with a 2.08 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. The Pirates have talked about how much they look forward to facing Lester. It will be up to the Cubs’ southpaw to quiet the Bucs.
Pirates Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Sean Rodriguez: 9-for-36 with three doubles, two home runs and four walks
- Chris Stewart: 3-for-7 with one home run and two walks
- Travis Snider: 1-for-11 with one home run
- Francisco Cervelli: 2-for-9 with one walk
- Andrew McCutchen: 0-for-6
- Aramis Ramirez: 3-for-7 with one double
- Neil Walker: 2-for-7
- Josh Harrison: 2-for-4
- Jung Ho Kang: 2-for-3
- Starling Marte: 2-for-3 with one double
- Mike Morse: 0-for-3
- Jordy Mercer: 0-for-1
J.A. Happ has been lights out in the Pirates rotation. The only bad start he’s had since the trade from the Mariners came against the Cubs on Aug. 4. Happ has not allowed more than two earned runs in his other six starts with the Pirates and he’s coming off a 10-strikeout performance against Reds.
J.A. Happ is pitching like he did early in his career. Happ is 2-0 in his last two starts with a 1.38 ERA and 0.46 WHIP. Happ has allowed two runs on six hits with no walks and 18 strikeouts in 13 innings.
Happ is 2-1 in three starts at PNC with a 2.81 ERA and 1.31 WHIP and makes his second start against the Cubs this year. The Cubs scored four runs on nine hits with two walks in 4 1/3 innings off Happ before mechanical adjustments were made.
Cubs Career Numbers against J.A. Happ
- Chris Denorfia: 6-for-17 with two doubles, two home runs and one walk
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-14 with one double and one walk
- Austin Jackson: 3-for-11 with three walks
- Starlin Castro: 4-for-9 with two doubles and two walks
- David Ross: 3-for-9 with one double and one walk
- Chris Coghlan: 2-for-6
- Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-6 with two doubles and one home run
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-3
- Jonathan Herrera: 0-for-3
- Addison Russell: 1-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …