#Cubs Arrieta faces Pirates at PNC Park

Jake Arrieta will try for his 20th win Wednesday night when the Cubs face the Pirates at PNC Park. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwaber LF

Coghlan RF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Castro 2B

Baez SS

Arrieta P

*Arrieta can become the first 20-game winner in the Majors with a win. The last Cubs pitcher to win 20 was Jon Lieber in 2001.Arrieta is 8-0 with a 0.46 ERA in his last eight starts, giving up three earned runs over 58 1/3 innings.

He has faced the Pirates three times this year and is 2-1 with a 0.86 ERA. He’s won both meetings this year in Pittsburgh, winning 5-2 in April and 5-0 in August.


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What a game so far…

Aloha Petrey- I am exhausted. I do not know where to begin but I remember my father saying after a win like this, where everyone is exuberant, it is a good time to critique the game. Because the team including Arrieta seemed to be giving the game away! They had chances to score many more runs than they did, this RISP is a little troubling but I know they will figure it out. Arrieta’s errant throw to Rizzo was hard to watch. I was wondering as a first baseman, should Rizzo have come off the bag to make the catch? Hard call. Could Castro have made that play up the middle where the ball went off of his glove? Again, hard call. But in the 7th I believe where Montero gets on base, then Montero steels a base and on an errant throw gets to 3rd with 1 out, Castro does what he has done so many times before, strikes out. He looked awful at his at bat. A fly ball would have scored Montero but instead they leave him on base. 8th inning, Baez gets turned around on a line drive to him and instead of a double play, inning continues. Baez comes back and makes a nice play to the plate to save a run but then the next batter walks and on a unique double play, the Pirates tie the game. Castro did make a very nice play late in the game to start a double play. Anyhow, you saw the same game. This was a huge one to win because they had it, lost the lead because of their play then was able to win it in extra innings against a team that is awesome when it comes to 1 run games and at their own park too. I have to give the bp kudos though it did not come easy. Let’s hope they can get the same amount of hits tomorrow but score more RISP and play better defense. Take care now! Mahalo!

I recall your boy, Castro, swinging at a pitch in the dirt and in front of the plate, and fanning. I reckon it was the eighth inning, but please do not quote me. {Spent most of the evening watching those fool Republicans debate at the Reagan Library. President Reagan must be spinning in his grave} I do know there was a runner on third with less than two outs. All Starlin needed to do was put the ball in play to score the run, or hit a medium deep fly to the outfield for a sac fly. I do know Starlin had absolutely no shot at making contact with that pitch. His effort was `futile` and that was representative of his entire season. Cubs fans should hope he is not part of this team next season. And he`s no second baseman either, just as he was a liability at short. There is optimism though. We won the game in spite of your boy.

castro started a game saving double play…. granted I get he had a bad at bat but who doesn’t have bad at bats? Please tell me that

Actually that was a remarkable defensive play he made to start that double play, and one I had not seen when I typed the above post, as I was viewing the debate 90% of the time, not the game. But that fits Starlin`s history perfectly. H`ll make a tremendous defensive play, and then botch a routine one afterward.

Aloha k.g. Am glad you saw most of the game. I did not. I watched the debate. I want your opinion of Petrey10 typing I have a `thick skull.` I insist you answer. I am pleased the Cubs won, of course. I did check on the progress of the contest periodically. I am watching the `highlights` on Root Sports Pittsburgh as I type. Starlin actually made a nice defensive effort on a double play, but it does not change my mind regarding wanting to see him with another organization in 2016. There are some subjects more important than baseball. Did I mention Petrey10 said I have a `thick skull`? I want your opinion of that remark. I can`t let you off the hook. One more thing. When Arrieta starts for us, we expect to win that game. We did tonight, but just barely. It was too close for comfort, if you follow my drift.

Aloha jhosk- I am sorry to hear that Petrey name-called you. I know he likes “sabermetrics.” My college coach was good friends with Sandy Alderson who was then the GM for the A’s. Alderson turned to the “s-metrics” as a way to find the diamond in the rough, the unknown sort of speak. As you know, Alderson was tutoring a relative “unknown” at the time, Billy Beane. The A’s were not getting large crowds, the money was not flowing in and Alderson needed a way to make a competitive team on a budget. I get it. I had friends who ended up with the A’s be it as potential players and also as personnel. Some will say it worked well and others will say that it relied too heavy on “models” and not the human aspect of the game. For myself, I love numbers – stats, that was part of my training but I also know that we are created as “individual stones” not “uniform bricks.” I do not like the “quality start” stat because it says if a person pitches at least 6 innings and gives up no more than 3 runs, which translates into a game ERA of 4.50, that person had a quality start. I am a little old-school and believe a starting pitcher should go 7+ innings. So let us look at Arrieta and Lester in games where they pitched under 7 full innings: Lester has 13 of those games thus far and the team has gone 6-7 (under .500). Arrieta has 14 of those games and the team has gone 9-5. Both pitchers have started 29 games. Arrieta has pitched 207 innings with an ERA of 1.99 and Lester has pitched 184 innings with an ERA of 3.38. And if we look at the guy you like, MadBum he has started 29 games, had 12 games of under 7 full innings pitched where the team went 8-4. He has pitched 197 innings and has an ERA of 2.91. I believe Lester is a good pitcher and want to see him get to the next level and that comes with consistency. I think the organization paid more than I would have like to have seen but there were not many “lefties” available, reminds me of the year that Zito was signed by the Giants; he was in the right place at the right time to get that contract. You have to wonder what it will cost a team to get a David Price, a southpaw, in this off-season even though the FA market will be flush with good pitching. There is a lot more I could go into but I know I need to get some shut-eye! As you know I like to say, baseball is a game still played by humans! I hope we can all discuss this great game without disparaging one another. Take care now. Mahalo! PS: We were blessed with some rain today!

not just me that likes sabermetrics… this front office likes them… maddon likes them and uses them to a great degree. Most of the teams in baseball use them.
I am not saying they are end all be all but when some ignorant fan says I hate this guy or that guy and I do about 10 minutes of research to find out they are completely off base. It really ruins the game. One reason why some fan bases are looked down upon because they whine and complain when they truly don’t understand. Everything is out there for us fans to become more informed and educated in the game of baseball but some are too thick skulled/stubborn to change with the game. Just because it was done one way in 1945 doesn’t mean it works now. Accept that change and try to learn or quite frankly don’t run your mouth because you make the fan base look bad.

Am pleased to hear y`all received some rain, k.g. I did hear on the news Wednesday morn that northern California could receive precipitation. Thanks for the research on those three pitchers. When you suggest that Lester needs to reach the next level and become more consistent, I conclude that`s a diplomatic way of saying he has underachieved this season. It`s a shame more folks on here can`t emulate your genteel example. One in particular is similar to Donald Trump in that each is a bully. Is not a good quality, and is a major reason why Trump will never become President. Both have something else in common. Each embraces delivering `adhominem` attacks.

How about that BP tonight?

One game does not tell us much, jasper. We`ll take it, but let`s see some consistency. I envy you folk who can ignore those fools debating in California at the same time the Cubs game is in progress. I can`t do that. Where am I going wrong? Please do not tell me I`m not as loyal a Cubs` supporter as y`all, because I`ll bring my arguments strong all day. (Smiling)

jhosk, your priorities may be the country and our next President, that’s not a bad priority at all.
However the Cubs versus the debate, Cubs are much more exciting.

Another thing about bullies. They do not apologize for anything. They are always right; is no need to. You have never seen Donald Trump apologize for anything; doubt you ever will.

An exciting win no matter how we got there. I saw that at bat by Castro, two pitches away and in the dirt. The next inning though he made a good play at 2nd that lead to a double play! Great two innings of relief by Rondon! Let’s get another win tomorrow and then the Cards come in.

I am all for another win tomntex, but I am afraid the BP better be ready again.

Now that I have you both here. Please tell me jasper and tomntex, is it your opinion that Lester has performed to expectations thus far in 2015 , or do you believe he has underperformed?

Hello jasper and tomntex. I`m still here waiting for your replies. I`ve never known either of you to be shy in the past when it comes to expressing your opinions. Why now?

I think Lester has done well in an adjustment year. He has adjusted to a new city with his family, he has adjusted to the NL, he has adjusted to being super rich, then adjusted to the expectations that come with it.
Sure when you look at the W/L record, it seems disappointing, but digging deeper, he has not pitched bad at all.
We will see a new Lester next year, one that has made the adjustments and maybe one that is not expected to be the #1 Starter, possibly #3.
So for the team to make it this far, is amazing.

Cubs and Republicans both on SKY satellite TV here. I set the DVR and switched back and forth. I’m not a big Castro fan, but…he successfully squeezed in the second run and then started a nifty double play in the ninth. This game showed we can beat the Pirates — in Pittsburgh.

Yes, Bruce. I`ve heard it said we currently enjoy the edge thus far in the season series versus the Pirates. I believe it`s 9-6, but please don`t quote me. In fact, the Pirates have struggled all season against most, if not all, the other clubs in its division. What is your opinion of Lester`s overall season? I hope you were enlightened by what you heard said in the debate. I found it challenging to do so; most of it was filled with bloviating.

Speaking of debates…there can be one regarding Castro’s skills, value and role. Regardless of which side of the debate one is on (keeping him vs. moving him) Castro seems to be a hot & cold type of player as evidenced in a microcosm fashion during last night’s game. At one time he looks foolish swinging at pitches that we think ANY major league, veteran hitter should realize well before the movement of the bat they are way outside the stroke zone and should be taken for obvious balls….then he makes a spectacular play on the field which can be considered a game saving play. A big “sigh” goes hand in hand with Castro’s style/ability along with a grain of salt. However, I believe that his attributes do not outweigh his deficiencies and he and the Cubs will be better served parting ways. Especially when considering the pipeline of talent available in the years ahead. Not knowing what we will get from Castro in any given game is not a good thing for a contending club. He just does not seem to be the type of player coveted by Maddon or Epstein, not an excellent hitter nor an excellent defender yet only OCCASIONALLY….both.

On Lester: Well, my first impression was overpaid spoiled brat. But…he has won clutch playoff games and has that experience under pressure our young guys still lack. I tend to agree he will be better next year and ultimately should prove worthy of his contract. The debate: I’m getting old. Still waiting for another true statesman to show up, from either party.

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