|PITTSBURGH ( LIRIANO )|
CHICAGO CUBS ( SAMARDZIJA )
|951||PITTSBURGH||-120||Ov 7.5,+105||-135||Ov 7.5,+110|
|952||CHICAGO CUBS||+110||Un 7.5,-125||+125||Un 7.5,-130|
|vs Right-handed Starters||43-23||+26.8||27-37||3.9||0.241||0.299||3.3||0.223||0.290|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.8||3-4||4.1||0.250||0.311||3.0||0.247||0.286|
|vs Left-handed Starters||11-13||-0.5||8-14||3.6||0.234||0.291||3.8||0.238||0.300|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.8||4-2||4.7||0.244||0.278||3.7||0.237||0.309|
|6/21/2013||COLE(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WEAVER(R)||5-2||W||150||7.5 ev||U||11||8||0||4||3||0|
|6/22/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ LA ANGELS||WILLIAMS(R)||6-1||W||120||7.5 ov||U||10||6||0||8||11||1|
|6/23/2013||MORTON(R)||@ LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)||10-9||W||145||9 un||O||13||7||3||9||8||2|
|6/25/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ SEATTLE||SAUNDERS(L)||9-4||W||-120||7 ov||O||13||7||0||5||4||1|
|6/26/2013||GOMEZ(R)||@ SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)||4-2||W||160||6.5 ov||U||8||7||1||8||10||0|
|7/5/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||SAMARDZIJA(R)|| |
|7/6/2013||MORTON(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||JACKSON(R)|| |
|7/7/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||VILLANUEVA(R)|| |
|7/12/2013|| ||NY METS|| || |
|6/25/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||LOHSE(R)||3-9||L||130||8 ov||O||8||5||1||11||3||0|
|6/26/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||5-4||W||125||8.5 un||O||11||11||0||9||5||2|
|6/27/2013||GARZA(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)||7-2||W||100||9 un||P||9||6||0||9||8||2|
|6/28/2013||WOOD(L)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)||4-5||L||140||7 un||O||7||2||0||9||11||1|
|6/29/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ SEATTLE||HARANG(R)||5-3||W||-110||7 ov||O||10||6||0||10||8||0|
|6/30/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ SEATTLE||BONDERMAN(R)||7-6||W||105||8 ov||O||9||6||0||10||7||1|
|7/2/2013||RUSIN(L)||@ OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)||7-8||L||195||8 ev||O||13||5||1||10||4||0|
|7/3/2013||GARZA(R)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)||3-1||W||180||7.5 un||U||12||9||0||4||7||0|
|7/4/2013||WOOD(L)||@ OAKLAND||STRAILY(R)||0-1||L||150||8 ov||U||2||4||0||5||6||1|
|7/8/2013||GARZA(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SANTIAGO(L)|| |
|7/9/2013||WOOD(L)||LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)|| |
|7/10/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)|| |
|7/11/2013||JACKSON(R)||ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)|| |
|7/12/2013|| ||ST LOUIS|| || |
|PITTSBURGH: HITTING: The Pirates' two-month casual flirtation with competitiveness was cute while it lasted, before this team fizzled to a 72-win season. This team is still years away. But don't blame OF ANDREW McCUTCHEN, who might be the best all-around player in the division. Of all the ballyhooed outfielders from the 2005 draft, he's the one GMs would most want to build around. OF JOSE TABATA, not so much. He's serviceable and has plus speed, but the six-year extension the Pirates gave him was absurd. 2B NEIL WALKER has settled into a respectable place short of stardom. 3B PEDRO ALVAREZ has a lot of uphill climbing to do if he wants to wake up old expectations. He'll compete with 3B CASEY MCGEHEE for a starting role, but it's most likely that Alvarez moves to first base to back up 1B GARRETT JONES. OFs NATE McLOUTH and ALEX PRESLEY are underwhelming choices for the starting left-field spot. SS CLINT BARMES and C ROD BARAJAS would like to thank the Pirates for wildly overpaying them. |
STARTING PITCHING: JEFF KARSTENS looked pretty decent for much of last year. But that's what happens when you get to log 14 percent of your innings against the lowly Astros. Better teams exposed him for the replacement-level guy he is. Contrary to what a lot of bored, lazy sportswriters wanted you to believe last year, CHARLIE MORTON doesn't pitch like Roy Halladay. At all. JAMES McDONALD could still be special if he cut down his walk rate. ERIK BEDARD was a respectable signing. Even if his shoulder acts up, he cost only $4.5 million for a year. If he's healthy, he's still well above-average. KEVIN CORREIA may only be slightly more effective at striking out hitters than a batting tee, but the Pirates are grateful for the innings he eats. BRAD LINCOLN is the designated fill-in if any of the other starters get hurt (cough, Bedard). In the meantime, he's a swing man.
RELIEF PITCHING: Closer JOEL HANRAHAN has been outstanding since first donning a Pirates uniform in 2009, converting 40-of-44 saves with a 1.83 ERA last season. It makes sense for the rebuilding Pirates to move him, but they'll probably keep the hand they were dealt. There isn't another qualified ninth-inning pitcher in this bullpen though. EVAN MEEK was bit by the shoulder bug. His early season was an unqualified disaster, but he turned it around and regained his form once he came back in September. He should be fully healthy again, and a quiet source of a few saves. CHRIS RESOP is another primary set-up man, but he posted a 4.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 2011. DANIEL McCUTCHEN won't be so lucky with his ERA this year if he doesn't lower his walk rate. He's just not a guy to put much faith in.
|CHICAGO CUBS: HITTING: 'Under New Management' is the motto in Wrigleyville, where Epstein, Hoyer, Sveum and Co. aim to turn SS STARLIN CASTRO and a bunch of straw into gold. OF DAVID DeJESUS was an underrated first pick-up. But OFs ALFONSO SORIANO and MARLON BYRD are overpaid and over the hill. C GEOVANY SOTO has lost his mojo. New 3B IAN STEWART has a lousy career OPS of .737 away from Coors Field. 1B BRYAN LaHAIR is tagged as part of a 'youth movement,' but he's almost 30. The other youths'2B DARWIN BARNEY, IF JEFF BAKER, and IF BLAKE DEWITT 'are interchangeable guys with low ceilings. Fourth OF TONY CAMPANA is fast but one-dimensional. And minor-league reinforcements are scarce. OF BRETT JACKSON is solid, but blocked in the lineup. And former uber-prospect 3B JOSH VITTERS has done nothing to justify his third-overall draft status. This rebuilding process will take time. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Chicago suburbs, Jim Hendry quietly sobs into a pile of Cubs-themed stuffed animals. |
STARTING PITCHING: RYAN DEMPSTER should bounce back from an unlucky year in which there was nearly a full-run difference between his ERA and his FIP. He's no ace in good times, but he's an underrated and dependable source of innings and strikeouts. MATT GARZA didn't disappoint in his debut season on the North Side, but he was an odd acquisition to begin with: the Cubs dealt top prospects from a thin system when all signs pointed to a belly-flop of a season. He's already trade bait again. JEFF SAMARDZIJA is moving to the rotation after a strong year in the bullpen (2.97 ERA, 87 K in 88 IP), but he needs to cut down on his walks (5.1 per 9 IP). What killed TRAVIS WOOD in 2011 was uncharacteristic wildness. His walk total spiked by over 50 percent from 2010. He's better than this, though it's hard to say how much. It could be that a 40-inning jump from 2010 to 2011 aided his freefall. Subpar newcomers PAUL MAHOLM and CHRIS VOLSTAD will also compete for rotation spots. The lefty Maholm is coming off his best season in Pittsburgh (3.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but was awful after the All-Star break (0-5, 5.75 ERA, .355 Opp. BA). The 6-foot-8 Volstad was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA for the Marlins last year, but still has time to figure things out at age 25.
RELIEF PITCHING: Because of his contract and the head-scratching faith in the 'closer mentality' that still pervades even the most enlightened front offices, CARLOS MARMOL will enter the 2012 campaign with a near-ironclad grip on ninth-inning duties for the Cubs. Trading away Sean Marshall, arguably Chicago's best reliever last season, is yet another vote of confidence for Marmol. His lack of command leads to more hittable pitches (along with tons of walks), though his ceiling for strikeouts and saves is sky-high. KERRY WOOD will be the main set-up man again after a triumphant return to Chicago last season (3.35 ERA, 57 K in 51 IP).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-CHICAGO CUBS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Cubs Preview* ======================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Pittsburgh (52-31) at Chicago (36-46), 4:05 p.m. EDT
The Chicago Cubs' offense seemed to be coming around, but it was shut out for the first time in nearly a month in the team's most recent contest.
It hasn't been able to score off Francisco Liriano, either.
The left-hander looks to continue his solid run this season by helping the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Cubs for the sixth time in seven tries Friday at Wrigley Field.
Liriano (7-3, 2.23 ERA) has allowed one run or none in seven of his 10 starts, striking out 67 in 60 2-3 innings. He beat Milwaukee on Saturday, yielding a run in six innings of a 2-1 win and registering six strikeouts for the third straight outing.
"We're playing pretty good baseball right now and have to continue it, so every five days I go out and try to do my job," Liriano said. "So far, so good."
The left-hander's success has been a major reason the Pirates (52-32) possess baseball's best winning percentage past the halfway point of the season.
"We're having fun, we're playing hard and we're giving everything we have," Liriano said.
Liriano has been stellar in two starts against Chicago this season, allowing two hits in seven innings in each and winning 1-0 on May 22 and 2-0 on June 7.
That last matchup marked the last time the Cubs were shut out prior to Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Oakland. Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro recorded the team's only hits off last-minute Triple-A call-up Dan Straily.
The only run came on Wellington Castillo's passed ball in the seventh off a pitch from Matt Guerrier, who came on after Travis Wood dominated for six innings.
"It was a shame," manager Dale Sveum said. "Six shutout innings. (Wood) pitched another great ballgame. One little passed ball."
The Cubs (36-47) had averaged 6.1 runs and finished with at least 10 hits five times over their previous nine games.
"You have to keep battling every single day," Wood said. "Their guy pitched awesome. He kept us off balance and off the scoreboard. Have to find a way to win these games."
Jeff Samardzija enters his start Friday not having received one run of support in two outings versus Pittsburgh this year and lost both. He opposed Liriano in May, giving up one run in seven innings, before allowing four runs in six frames of a 6-2 defeat to the Pirates on June 8. He's still 3-2 with a 1.66 ERA in five career starts against them.
Samardzija (5-7, 3.34) is 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA over his last three outings after giving up two runs in seven innings of a 5-3, 11-inning win over Seattle on Saturday.
The right-hander hopes for another solid outing against a Pittsburgh team that had won nine straight before dropping two of three to Philadelphia, including Thursday's 6-4 defeat.
Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs and is batting .372 with nine RBIs over his last 11 games. Starling Marte went 2 for 4 and is hitting .356 during a nine-game hitting streak.
The Pirates have won six of nine meetings with the Cubs this season, though Chicago ended a five-game skid in the series with a 4-1 win June 9. McCutchen is hitting .444 with three doubles over the last five matchups.
It's unclear if Cubs center fielder Brian Bogusevic will play after leaving Thursday's contest in the third inning with a left hamstring injury. He's hitting .300 in eight games since being called up from the minors.
|Last Updated: 9/16/2014 4:32:09 PM EST|