|CHICAGO CUBS ( WOOD )|
PITTSBURGH ( LIRIANO )
|955||CHICAGO CUBS||+180||Ov 7,+105||+175||Ov 7,+115|
|956||PITTSBURGH||-190||Un 7,-125||-185||Un 7,-135|
|vs Left-handed Starters||21-20||+8.6||14-24||3.6||0.242||0.301||3.8||0.245||0.315|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||+1.5||2-5||2.7||0.205||0.263||2.7||0.233||0.278|
|vs Left-handed Starters||16-12||+2.8||15-12||4.2||0.263||0.322||3.7||0.249||0.316|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+3.2||4-3||3.4||0.240||0.299||3.6||0.238||0.295|
|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)||5-4||W||160||7 un||O||9||8||1||9||7||1|
|9/14/2013||BAKER(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||COLE(R)||1-2||L||175||7 un||U||5||6||0||5||4||0|
|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)|| |
|9/22/2013|| ||ATLANTA|| || |
|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)||4-5||L||-170||7 un||O||9||7||1||9||8||1|
|9/14/2013||COLE(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||BAKER(R)||2-1||W||-185||7 un||U||5||4||0||5||6||0|
|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||STULTS(L)|| |
|9/18/2013||MORTON(R)||SAN DIEGO||ROSS(R)|| |
|9/19/2013||COLE(R)||SAN DIEGO||KENNEDY(R)|| |
|9/22/2013|| ||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 ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Chicago (63-84) at Pittsburgh (85-62), 1:35 p.m. EDT
The Pittsburgh Pirates regained a share of the NL Central lead in part by stifling the last-place Chicago Cubs.
Francisco Liriano has done the same in all three of his three matchups this season.
The left-hander will try to give the Pirates a boost in the division race with another strong outing at home against the Cubs in Sunday's series finale at PNC Park.
After dropping the second in a four-game series to the Cubs on Friday, Pittsburgh (86-62) bounced back with a 2-1 victory. The Pirates kept Chicago scoreless after the first inning, and former Cub Marlon Byrd provided a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh.
That win, combined with St. Louis' 4-1 defeat to Seattle, knotted up a competitive NL Central race. Cincinnati is 2 1/2 games back after beating Milwaukee on Saturday.
"It's a blast," said Byrd, acquired from the New York Mets on Aug. 27. "To come here where we're selling games out, the whole town is excited, you have the whole thing of wiping out the streak of 20 (consecutive) losing seasons - it's just been amazing experience so far. What will be more amazing, though, is playing in October."
Liriano (16-7, 2.92 ERA) will try to aid Pittsburgh by winning his seventh straight start at home - where he's 8-1 with a 1.21 ERA and carries a 16-inning scoreless streak into this game. He gave up one run over six frames in a 5-4 victory at Texas on Tuesday.
"Everything feels good," Liriano told the team's website. "Everything feels great and I feel a hundred percent, and I'm just trying to get ready every start and trying to go deep in every game."
Liriano, who has conceded only eight runs - four coming in one start - while limiting opponents to a .185 batting average over 59 2-3 innings at Pittsburgh, is seeking to become the first Pirates pitcher with more than 16 wins since John Smiley went 20-8 in 1991.
He would appear to have a good chance to accomplish that feat since he's 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in three starts against Chicago (63-85) this season. Liriano pitched a four-hitter in his most recent matchup, a 6-2 victory July 5, and he outdueled Travis Wood (9-11, 3.05) in a 2-0 victory June 7.
He also stifled the Cubs on two hits while striking out nine in seven innings of a 1-0 win May 22.
Wood is 1-1 with a 0.75 ERA in his two starts against Pittsburgh this season, allowing five hits in 12 innings. He's also coming off a superb outing in Cincinnati on Monday.
The left-hander struck out seven and scattered six hits in a 2-0 victory, his second in three starts.
"The luck he's had this year, it's just gratifying to see him get a win at any time," manager Dale Sveum said. "He's had some tough luck this year."
Andrew McCutchen went hitless Saturday but is batting .400 in his last 39 games. He's hit .357 in his past 24 contests against the Cubs, but is 1 for 16 lifetime against Wood.
McCutchen's 1-for-23 performance against Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo is the only worse showing against any pitcher he's faced at least 15 times.
Chicago's Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney are a combined 1 for 26 against Liriano, with Castro's double the lone hit.
|Last Updated: 9/23/2014 3:26:14 PM EST|