|CHICAGO CUBS ( ARRIETA )|
PITTSBURGH ( MORTON )
|951||CHICAGO CUBS||+160||Ov 7.5,-120||+160||Ov 7.5,+115|
|952||PITTSBURGH||-170||Un 7.5,+100||-170||Un 7.5,-135|
|vs Right-handed Starters||41-64||-17.2||49-51||4.0||0.237||0.294||4.4||0.245||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||+0.5||2-5||3.4||0.226||0.276||3.3||0.237||0.301|
|vs Right-handed Starters||69-49||+22.2||50-64||3.8||0.243||0.303||3.6||0.236||0.301|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.8||4-3||3.7||0.243||0.310||5.1||0.270||0.327|
|9/9/2013||WOOD(L)||@ CINCINNATI||ARROYO(R)||2-0||W||165||7.5 ov||U||7||6||0||7||9||0|
|9/10/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ CINCINNATI||CINGRANI(L)||9-1||W||225||8 ov||O||13||8||0||10||9||1|
|9/11/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LEAKE(R)||0-6||L||160||8.5 un||U||6||7||0||8||6||0|
|9/12/2013||RUSIN(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||LOCKE(L)||1-3||L||160||7.5 un||U||4||5||0||6||5||0|
|9/13/2013||ARRIETA(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||MORTON(R)|| |
|9/14/2013||BAKER(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||COLE(R)|| |
|9/15/2013||WOOD(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||LIRIANO(L)|| |
|9/16/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)|| |
|9/17/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||ESTRADA(R)|| |
|9/18/2013||RUSIN(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||THORNBURG(R)|| |
|9/19/2013||ARRIETA(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||LOHSE(R)|| |
|9/20/2013|| ||ATLANTA|| || |
|8/30/2013||LIRIANO(L)||ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||5-0||W||-125||7 un||U||9||8||0||4||5||1|
|8/31/2013||BURNETT(R)||ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||7-1||W||-135||7.5 un||O||13||9||0||6||5||0|
|9/1/2013||JOHNSON(L)||ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)||2-7||L||+105||8 un||O||6||6||0||12||8||0|
|9/2/2013||MORTON(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||THORNBURG(R)||5-2||W||-140||8.5 ev||U||11||8||2||8||8||0|
|9/3/2013||COLE(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||4-3||W||-115||8 un||U||8||8||0||7||4||0|
|9/4/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)||3-9||L||-150||7.5 un||O||12||12||1||13||7||0|
|9/6/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)||8-12||L||-110||7.5 un||O||13||12||1||16||5||2|
|9/7/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||0-5||L||150||7.5 ov||U||3||4||1||6||8||0|
|9/8/2013||MORTON(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)||2-9||L||120||7.5 ev||O||4||4||1||12||8||2|
|9/9/2013||COLE(R)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)||1-0||W||155||7.5 un||U||6||4||0||4||5||0|
|9/10/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)||5-4||W||115||8 ov||O||12||10||0||13||9||2|
|9/11/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ TEXAS||GARZA(R)||7-5||W||120||8 ov||O||12||8||0||9||6||0|
|9/12/2013||LOCKE(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||RUSIN(L)||3-1||W||-170||7.5 un||U||6||5||0||4||5||0|
|9/13/2013||MORTON(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)|| |
|9/14/2013||COLE(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||BAKER(R)|| |
|9/15/2013||LIRIANO(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)|| |
|9/16/2013||BURNETT(R)||SAN DIEGO||CASHNER(R)|| |
|9/17/2013||LOCKE(L)||SAN DIEGO||ROSS(R)|| |
|9/18/2013||MORTON(R)||SAN DIEGO||KENNEDY(R)|| |
|9/19/2013||COLE(R)||SAN DIEGO||ERLIN(L)|| |
|9/20/2013|| ||CINCINNATI|| || |
|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).
|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.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (CHICAGO CUBS-PITTSBURGH) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Cubs-Pirates Preview* ======================
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
Chicago (62-83) at Pittsburgh (84-61), 7:05 p.m. EDT
Strong starting pitching helped the Pittsburgh Pirates gain a share of first place in the NL Central.
It's also been the biggest reason behind their success at home against the Chicago Cubs.
Charlie Morton, though, is looking to beat the Cubs for the first time in over three years Friday night at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh (85-61) is getting a 2.39 ERA from the rotation during a four-game winning streak, and Jeff Locke turned in the latest impressive effort in Thursday's 3-1 win over Chicago.
Locke yielded one run and three hits in seven innings in the opener of this four-game set, becoming the third Pirates' starter over the last four games to give up one run or none.
"It was intent, conviction and execution," manager Clint Hurdle said. "All three of them were covered off the mound by Jeff."
Facing the Cubs (62-84) should give the Pirates a chance to at least keep pace with St. Louis atop the division. The Cardinals are opening a three-game set with Seattle.
Pittsburgh's rotation has dominated the Cubs at home this year, compiling a 1.88 ERA to overcome the offense's 2.7 runs per game and .187 average to win five of seven meetings.
Morton (7-4, 3.44 ERA), though, is 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA in seven career starts against the division rival, losing the last two while surrendering eight runs with eight walks in 10 1-3 innings. He hasn't defeated Chicago since May 5, 2010.
The right-hander also started the Pirates' most recent defeat, 9-2 at St. Louis on Sunday. It was his shortest outing of the season, as discomfort in his left foot forced him to exit with two outs in the second inning after allowing five runs. He was 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA over his previous six outings.
"He was getting some pitches up, and also fell behind," catcher John Buck told the team's official website. "Still, it wasn't like they were hitting him that hard."
Andrew McCutchen, who had a double and scored a run Thursday, is certainly hitting the ball hard. The star center fielder has at least one hit in all 10 games this month, batting .457 with two homers, three doubles, one triple, five RBIs and eight runs.
McCutchen is hitting .424 (14 for 33) with five doubles, four RBIs and six runs over his last nine meetings with the Cubs, and he's 2 for 6 off scheduled starter Jake Arrieta.
Chicago has split its last 12 games, and has been feast or famine at the plate. The team is batting .311 with 12 homers and 39 runs in those victories compared to .170 with four home runs and 10 runs in defeat.
The Cubs mustered four hits in the opener.
Anthony Rizzo had one of those hits, but is 1 for 18 with five strikeouts over the past five games. The first baseman is also batting .209 on the road, and is 2 for 26 with a homer and three RBIs at Pittsburgh this year.
Arrieta (2-2, 4.28) has won both of his career starts against the Pirates with a 3.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings.
The right-hander is trying to rebound from Saturday's 5-3 loss to Milwaukee, giving up four runs with three walks while hitting a batter in five innings.
|Last Updated: 9/3/2014 1:46:37 AM EST|