Game Eighty-Six: Cubs (52-33) vs. Pirates (44-42)
- Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Jake Arrieta, RHP (12-3, 2.33/1.06/2.90) vs. Francisco Liriano, LHP (5-8, 5.34/1.64/5.33)
The Cubs kick off the last series before the All-Star break tonight at PNC Park. It’s Jake Arrieta versus Francisco Liriano. And for the Cubs it should be all about having fun and just playing tonight’s game.
The Cubs have not played well, everyone knows it. The players know it. Joe Maddon and his coaching staff know it. This is a time that Maddon needs to work his magic and manage his players. The Cubs appear to be frustrated and pressing. Maddon simply needs to get them back to playing the game as a team, something the Cubs are very, very good at doing.
Jake Arrieta takes the hill at a park he’s had a lot of success in the last two years. The Cubs will face a very hot Pirates team, one that just called up top prospect Josh Bell, but a team they’ve played very well against this season.
The Cubs are 8-1 in the first nine games of the season series with the Pirates.
After tonight’s matchup of Jake Arrieta and Francisco Liriano, Jon Lester faces rookie right-hander Chad Kuhl on Saturday night. The series wraps up Sunday with John Lackey opposing Jon Niese.
Tonight all starts with Jake Arrieta …
The last time Jake Arrieta had what could be called a good start was against the Pirates back on June 17 at Wrigley. Arrieta completed six innings after getting out of a bases loaded jam and allowed two hits with three walks and struck out 11. Arrieta has struggled to get through five innings since.
The Cubs are hoping the extra day will be what Arrieta needed and he will start to figure things out mentally tonight. Arrieta is fine physically by all accounts other than possibly being a little tired. He’s dealing with a confidence issue and is over compensating on the mound.
Arrieta’s last start against the Mets really didn’t go well. As been the case for a majority of the season, Arrieta issued too many walks. And both free passes were the difference in the Mets game. Arrieta allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Jake Arrieta faces the Pirates for the fourth time on the season tonight. Arrieta is 3-0 against the Pirates with a 0.86 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. In 21 innings, Arrieta has allowed two runs on seven hits with seven walks and 27 strikeouts. At PNC this season, Arrieta is 1-0 in one start with a 0.00 ERA and 0.57 WHIP (no runs, two hits, two walks, five strikeouts, seven innings).
Pirates Numbers against Jake Arrieta in 2016
- John Jaso: 0-for-8 with two walks
- Andrew McCutchen: 1-for-8 with one double and two walks
- Gregory Polanco: 1-for-8 with one walk
- Jordy Mercer: 1-for-7
- David Freese: 0-for-6
- Matt Joyce: 0-for-6
- Josh Harrison: 0-for-5
- Jung Ho Kang: 0-for-1 with one walk
- Starling Marte: 0-for-3
- Sean Rodriguez: 1-for-3
- Francisco Liriano: 0-for-2
Francisco Liriano has struggled this season but is coming off a decent start against the Athletics. Liriano allowed three runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings. The Pirates picked up a 6-3 win in Oakland.
Liriano has given up at least four runs in six of his last seven starts.
Tonight is Liriano’s ninth start of the season in his home park. Liriano is 3-4 at PNC with a 3.89 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Liriano has been charged with 24 runs, 19 earned, on 41 hits with 27 walks and 41 strikeouts in 44 innings.
Francisco Liriano is 5-4 in 13 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.36 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. This season, Liriano is 0-2 in two starts against the Cubs with a 10.45 ERA and 2.32 WHIP. The Cubs have scored 12 runs, all earned, on 15 hits with nine walks in 10 1/3 innings. Liriano has 13 strikeouts in those two outings.
Cubs Career Numbers against Francisco Liriano
- Anthony Rizzo: 5-for-27 with one double, one home run and two walks
- Ben Zobrist: 5-for-20 with one triple and two walks
- Jason Heyward: 4-for-14 with five walks
- Addison Russell: 2-for-8 with one home run and three walks
- Kris Bryant: 4-for-9 with two doubles, one home run and one walk
- Matt Szczur: 1-for-7 with one home run
- Javier Baez: 1-for-5 with one double and one walk
- Jake Arrieta: 0-for-3 with one walk
- Albert Almora Jr.: 1-for-2 with one walk
- Miguel Montero: 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …