Game One Hundred Thirty: Cubs (82-47) vs. Pirates (67-61)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jake Arrieta, RHP (16-5, 2.62/1.03/3.30) vs. Steven Brault, LHP (0-1, 3.60/1.60/4.35)
Weather permitting … The Cubs are back at Wrigley for the first of three with the red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates. Jake Arrieta gets rookie left-hander Steven Brault in the opener and will have the tough task of slowing down the Battlin’ Bucs.
Jake Arrieta faces a Pirates team that looks different from the one the Cubs saw just before the break. The Pirates have won eight straight road games and are even in the loss column with the Cardinals for the last spot in the NL postseason tournament. With Mark Melancon closing games for Dusty Baker and the Nationals, Francisco Liriano in Toronto and Gerrit Cole dealing with an elbow issue, the Pirates are playing good ball while taking advantage of the schedule. The Pirates have won 15 of the last 25 games.
The Cubs are 9-3 in the first 12 games of the season series with the Pirates. The Cubs have outscored the Pirates 74-46 this season and will face rookie starters in the first two games of this series.
After tonight’s matchup of Jake Arrieta and Steven Brault, Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to take on righty Chad Kuhl on Tuesday night (7:05pm CDT). Mike Montgomery and veteran right-hander Ryan Vogelsong are lined up for the series finale under the lights Wednesday night (7:05pm CDT).
This is the Pirates last trip to Wrigley for the regular season. The Cubs travel to Pittsburgh for four games (Sept. 26-29) in the final week of the regular season.
Tonight all starts with Jake Arrieta …
After a shaky first couple of innings, Jake Arrieta settled in to his last start and pitched eight innings of shutout ball. Arrieta gave up only two hits and walked three against the Padres while striking out six. Arrieta pitched to Willson Contreras for the second straight start. Contreras appeared to get more and more comfortable catching Arrieta as the game progressed.
Arrieta is expected to throw to Contreras again tonight.
Jake Arrieta is 4-0 in his last four starts with a 1.98 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. With the seven walks against the Brewers, Arrieta has more walks (13) than hits (12) allowed in his last 27 1/3 innings. Since the break, Arrieta is 4-1 in seven starts with a 2.47 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. And Arrieta is 6-3 in 12 starts at Wrigley Field this season with a 2.18 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta makes his fifth start of the season tonight against the Pirates. Arrieta is 3-1 in the first four with a 2.67 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. Arrieta has given up eight runs on 16 hits with eight walks and 33 strikeouts in 27 innings.
Pirates Numbers against Jake Arrieta in 2016
- John Jaso: 1-for-12 with two walks
- Andre McCutchen: 3-for-11 with two doubles and two walks
- Gregory Polanco: 1-for-11 with one walk
- David Freese: 2-for-9 with one home run
- Josh Harrison: 0-for-8
- Jordy Mercer: 1-for-7
- Matt Joyce: 0-for-6
- Starling Marte: 1-for-6
- Sean Rodriguez: 2-for-6 with one home run
- Josh Bell: 1-for-1
- Adam Frazier: no official at-bat, one walk
The Cubs get their first look at lefty Steven Brault in what will be just his third Major League start.
Brault made his big league debut in July but has not started a game in the majors in exactly one month. Brault lost to the Brewers on July 29 after giving up three runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings.
At Triple-A Indianapolis Brault was 2-7 in 16 games, 15 starts, with a 4.42 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Brault gave up 35 runs, 31 earned, on 66 hits with 35 walks and 81 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings.
No one on Joe Maddon’s active roster has faced Steven Brault in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …