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 Post subject: Game 68: Pirates vs. Cubs
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:24 am 
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At PNC Park
Game time: 8:15PM ET
Probable starters:
CHC: Jake Arrieta (6-4, 4.68 ERA)
PIT: Ivan Nova (6-4, 2.83 ERA)

Quote:
The Cubs were running away with the NL Central at this time last year, but it's been a different story in 2017. The defending World Series champs can take a step toward reclaiming the NL Central when they start a three-game series against the Pirates and right-hander Trevor Williams on Friday at PNC Park. Eddie Butler will start for the Cubs.

The Cubs had a 44-20 record on June 16, 2016, and held a nine-game lead in the division. They come to Pittsburgh 32-33, trailing the first-place Brewers by two games. And they are only 2 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates, who trailed the Cubs by 12 games at this time last year.

"We have not played our best baseball yet, but we're still highly pertinent in this division," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I know we have a nice run in us and it's forthcoming. It's going to be a combination of our starters getting more deep in games more consistently and our offense getting back to its normal methods. There's nothing to tell me that's not going to happen. … It's kind of all right to be in the position we're in, having not played our best baseball to this point."

The Cubs are hoping to get more innings from Butler, who allowed three runs on six hits in five innings in his last start against the Rockies on Saturday. Butler has only produced one quality start in six starts. Williams also struggled in his last start, surrendering five runs in four innings.

Three things to know about this game

• When batters have put the ball in play against Butler this season, Statcast has categorized it as a line drive 31.8 percent of the time, the seventh-highest rate in MLB for a starting pitcher (minimum 75 batted balls). Opponents are batting .679 and slugging 1.143 on those liners, compared with .122 with no extra-base hits on grounders against Butler.

• Ben Zobrist has been bothered by a sore left wrist since late May, and if it's not better by Friday, the Cubs may have to put him on the disabled list. The team and Zobrist are hoping that having Thursday off will help.

• John Jaso has continued to produce as a pinch-hitter for the Pirates. He is 6-for-15 with seven RBIs as a pinch-hitter this season, and in the past four seasons, Jaso is hitting .351 with four home runs and 16 RBIs as a pinch-hitter, which is the highest batting average off the bench for any player in the Majors in that span.


http://m.mlb.com/news/article/201706142 ... _pk=491102

#GONUTTINGSWALLET

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 Post subject: Re: Game 68: Pirates vs. Cubs
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:37 am 
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so much for the sweep..blew that one last night.


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 Post subject: Re: Game 68: Pirates vs. Cubs
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:54 pm 
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Assuming they get through the 8th unscathed, we're going to have to sweat Nicasio in the 9th again, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Game 68: Pirates vs. Cubs
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:16 pm 
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Nope...he went with Rivero for a 1-2/3 inning save.

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 Post subject: Re: Game 68: Pirates vs. Cubs
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:26 am 
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We had 'em all the way!

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