The Cubs opened the series against Pittsburgh with a victory, defeating the Pirates 6-1.
Chicago struck first on Monday night in the bottom of the second with an RBI single by Ian Happ that drove in Anthony Rizzo. They tacked on one more in the fifth on a Rizzo sacrifice fly, and then three more in the bottom of the seventh after a throwing error on a bases-loaded single by Alex Avila that cleared the bases. Meanwhile, Cubs starter Mike Montgomery held the Pirates scoreless for seven straight innings.
Pittsburgh finally broke up the shutout in the top of eighth when Jordy Mercer hit a solo home run, making the score 5-1. Chicago added one more in the bottom of the same inning to go up 6-1. Wade Davis came out in the top of the ninth and shut the Pirates lineup down one, two, three for the win.
Game 2 starters – Chad Kuhl (RHP) vs Jake Arrieta (RHP)
Chad Kuhl comes into Tuesday with a 4.52 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 129.3 innings pitched for Pittsburgh this season. He also holds a 7.7 K/9. In his last three stares the right-hander has given up seven earned runs on 13 hits in 14 innings pitched, striking out 14. He has faced the Cubs twice combining for 4.2 innings pitched, giving up 10 earned runs on 10 hits and striking out five.
Arrieta holds a 3.49 ERA and 1.20 WHIP on the season, along with an 8.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. In his last three starts for the Cubs, he has totalled 18 innings, giving up just two earned runs on 13 hits, striking out 20 and walking eight. He has faced the Pirates three times this season. In 16 innings against them, he has allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits, striking out 15.
|Pirates lineup||Home runs||Batting average||On-base percentage|
|Cubs lineup||Home runs||Batting average||On-base percentage|
|La Stella, 2B||5||.322||.417|
Who’s hot, and who’s not
Jordy Mercer has been on fire lately, going 9-19 in his last six games with one double and one home run. His OPS during this span is 1.208 as he has gotten on base in more than half of his plate appearances. He is the only Pirates hitter batting above .300 in the club’s last seven games. Josh Bell comes close at .296 with two doubles and one home run.
Chris Stewart has been as cold as cold gets lately. In his last seven games, he has gathered just two hits in 17 at-bats, both singles. The Pirates catcher hasn’t gotten an extra-base hit since May 29 when he tripled against Arizona. That’s 28 consecutive games without one. Andrew McCutchen is batting .130 in his last seven games, going 3-23, all singles. He has gone hitless in five of his last ten games.
Anthony Rizzo is 10-25 in his last seven games with three doubles, two home runs, and nine RBIs. He has a 1.007 OPS in August and leads the team in hits and RBIs. Tommy La Stella has been swinging a hot bat lately, going 7-16 in his last six games, good for a .438 average. Of his seven hits during this span, three have been home runs. He has also driven in eight.
Rene Rivera has a single hit in four games so far for Chicago. In his last ten games between the Cubs and the Mets, the catcher has gone 5-27 with nine strikeouts and has drawn just two walks. Besides Kyle Schwarber, he is the only player in the Cubs lineup tonight batting under .280 over the team’s last seven games.
Prediction: Cubs 5 – 1 Pirates
The Pirates lineup is ice cold, and Arrieta will be sure to take advantage on the mound tonight. While Pittsburgh has had past success against the Cubs righty, he is pitching on a whole other level since the All-Star break with a 1.78 ERA in eight games, and the Pirates hitters have yet to see the Arrieta we are seeing now. Add this to the fact that the Cubs lineup is as good as it is and I think Chicago takes this one easily.
Where to watch
Today’s game will be broadcast on ATTP and CSC and streaming on MLB.TV for out of market subscribers. The game starts at 8:05 pm ET.
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