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8
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Pittsburgh4 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 8130
Chi Cubs5 0 5 0 7 0 0 0 x 17163
17
  W: J. Lester (13-10)   L: S. Brault (4-5)   S: A. Mills (1)
1:05 PM PT2:05 PM MT3:05 PM CT4:05 PM ET16:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 PM MST3:05 PM EST3:35 PM VEN0:05 UAE (+1)3:05 PM CT, September 13, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 39,080

Scuffling Cubs set for final homestand vs. Pirates

According to STATS
According to STATS

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs

  1. The Pirates won three of four games in San Francisco in their most recent series. Pittsburgh is an NL-best 10-4 (.714) on the road since August 12 -- only the Twins at 13-3 (.813) have a better record on the road in MLB over that time.
  2. After wrapping up an eight-game road trip with a 3-5 record, the Cubs find themselves tied for the second NL Wild Card spot with the Brewers. Chicago plays 10 of its final 16 games at Wrigley Field, while the Brewers will play nine of its remaining 16 games on the road.
  3. Anthony Rizzo has recorded 25+ home runs and 25+ doubles in six consecutive seasons, the longest active streak of its kind in the majors. It's also the longest such streak in franchise history, surpassing Aramis Ramirez who accomplished the feat in five straight seasons from 2004-08.
  4. Jon Lester has a 5.72 ERA across 11 starts since the All-Star break. Overall this season, Lester sits on a 4.51 ERA after posting a 3.32 ERA in 2018 -- his increase in ERA (+1.19) is the third-largest season-over-season increase by any NL pitcher this season (ERA qualifiers both seasons).
  5. Since returning to the rotation full time in late May, Steven Brault has only allowed five home runs in 75.0 innings pitched. Among pitchers with at least 75.0 innings pitched since May 29, Brault's 0.60 HR/9 mark is the lowest in the majors.
  6. Bryan Reynolds currently ranks fifth in the NL with a .325 batting average (among qualified batters). The last Pirate rookie to finish in the top five in batting average in the NL was Lloyd Waner in 1927, when he finished third with a .355 average. Waner's brother, Paul, finished fifth in the NL in batting average as a rookie for the Pirates just one season prior, in 1926.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/13/2019 thru 9/15/2019

Their grip on the second National League wild-card spot is not as comfortable as it once was, and the Chicago Cubs are hoping to regain some of their lead during their final homestand of the season.

Tied with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs return home and host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game series and 10-game homestand on Friday afternoon.

Chicago (78-68) finished its previous homestand holding a 2 1/2-game lead on the Philadelphia Phillies on Sept. 3. The Cubs also held a five-game lead on Milwaukee after getting a 10-5 victory over the Brewers on Sept. 5 but are 2-5 since.

In that span of seven games, Milwaukee has won seven straight, the New York Mets are 5-2 and Philadelphia is 4-3. That has not only created a deadlock for the second spot, but also pushed those four teams within two games of each other. The Arizona Diamondbacks are 3 1/2 games out after getting swept in a four-game series by the Mets.

The Cubs, meanwhile, settled for a split in San Diego. After losing the previous two games, Chicago ended its four-game series by getting a dynamic 14-strikeout performance by Yu Darvish in six innings in Thursday's 4-1 victory.

Chicago's 47-24 home record is the best among the teams vying for the second wild-card spot, but its 31-44 road record is the worst. The Cubs are 3-5 in their last eight games at Wrigley Field and also face the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals in the next week.

"These next two-plus weeks we just need to win -- I don't care how it's done," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo told reporters after Wednesday's game. "I don't care if it's pretty or ugly. We just have to win. That's all we can do.

"If we don't win games, we're going to be going barbecuing too early. We believe in each other. We're here for one another. But we've got to win."

A stretch of 30 losses in 38 games coming out of the All-Star break pushed Pittsburgh (65-82) out of contention, but the Pirates are a respectable 13-7 in their last 20 games.

Pittsburgh has lost seven of its last eight games at Wrigley Field and heads there after Joe Musgrove pitched five scoreless innings in a 4-2 win at San Francisco on Thursday.

The Pirates may play a role in who gets the second wild-card spot. They have six games with the Cubs and visit Milwaukee next weekend.

"We're out to win every game," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle told reporters. "There's lessons that can be learned every day. The game develops cohesion. It takes collaboration."

Jon Lester (12-10, 4.51 ERA), who is 3-4 with a 6.91 ERA in his last eight starts, opens the series for Chicago. Lester is coming off one of his worst outings of the season when he allowed eight runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of Sunday's 8-5 loss in Milwaukee.

The veteran left-hander is 11-6 with a 3.02 ERA in 21 career starts against the Pirates.

Steven Brault (4-4, 4.13) opens the series for Pittsburgh and hopes to continue his success in road games. He is 4-0 with a 4.11 ERA in 11 appearances (eight starts) away from Pittsburgh.

Brault was tagged for six runs (five earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 10-1 loss to St. Louis on Saturday. The left-hander is 0-1 with a 6.31 ERA in 13 career games (four starts) against Chicago.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 12, 2019

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