Pittsburgh Pirates series takeaways vs. Chicago Cubs

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Aug 4, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (13) walks on the field to make a line-up change against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Cubs won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Because of the rain, the Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t able to play the complete series against the Cubs, but splitting the two games keeps the Pirates four games ahead of the Cubs in the wildcard standings, which is always a good thing. The goal is still to win the division, but the Cubs are not going away and if the Pirates want to win the NL Central, they have to start beating the Cubs consistently. The Pirates, to the surprise of what feels like way too many Pirates fans, have played pretty well in the last 10 games, going 6-4 on the strength of a much-improved offense. The pitching has taken a step back with the injury of A.J. Burnett, but if the offense can continue to produce at a high level, the Pirates will be just fine.

The Pirates difficult schedule continues as they turn their attention on the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series. The series kicks off with one of the best pitching match-ups of the season as Gerrit Cole takes on Clayton Kershaw. If that doesn’t get you excited as a baseball fan, there’s something wrong with you. The Pirates are a World Series contender and the best way to reiterate that fact is to beat other contenders. The Pirates have a tough road ahead, but to quote Ric Flair, “to be the man, you have to beat the man.”

Series Result: Split 1-1

2015 win/loss record: 62-44

2015 series record: 17-12-5

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