The Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Cubs this weekend at PNC Park. The weather looks like really bad right now, and perhaps that will cool off the visitors. The Cubs should be packing it in after such a rough start to the 2011 season. But last night in DC, they looked like anything but.
The Cubs pulled off their biggest comeback in three years last night against the Nationals. It was a great game. It scared the hell out of me. We really thought the Cubbies would come into PNC after being swept by the Nats. They turned the game around and then made certain they walked out of the nation’s capital with a victory.
The last place team the Cubs probably want to see however, is the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates have had good fortune against the Cubs recently. Last year at PNC the Buccos went 5-1 on the North Shore. In the first six games against the Cubs this year, the starters have dropped a 1.80 ERA, just eight earned runs allowed in 40 innings.
Watching the Cubs last night, it is going to be very difficult to match that this weekend. Will the Pirates be able to continue their dominance over the Cubs? We think it will be tough.
Maybe Neil Walker, who has hit safely in all 15 of his career games against the Cubs, can help.
It looks like a big weekend for Andrew McCutchen as well. Unfortunately, we just heard Andre Ethier will replace Victorino on the All-Star roster. Hilarious.
But anyway, much more importantly in playing in the All-Star game, McCutchen has hit over .400 against the Cubs in the past 21 games. Cutch has been monsterous with 15 walks, eight steals, four doubles, three triples, three bombs, and 15 RBI.
The Cubs Rodrigo Lopez gets the chore of cooling off Walker and Cutch tonight. Lopez is also coming in on a high. Lopez shutout the crosstown White Sox in his last start. He has thrown six innings in his one start against the Bucs giving up a run on six hits and a free pass.
On the year Lopez has a 3.91 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.
James McDonald who has pitched well in his recent starts goes for the Bucs. JMac is 5-4 with a 4.40 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.
McDonald faced the Cubs once and went 6.2 innings. He gave up three runs, ten hits, and walked three.
McDonald struckout seven Cubs.
Yeh, the Cubs are bad right now. And that scares me a bit.
If you are a fan of Carlos Pena possibly coming to Pittsburgh in a deal, you should read this very interesting article from Luke at Cubbies Crib.
The replacement for Pena could be in AAA for the Cubs.
So maybe the Cubs really would only need a few low level Pirates arms for Pena, and would want to get the salary for Pena off their books. Interesting stuff.