It’s a quick turnaround for the Buccos today as they finished up around 10PM in New York and now set to play at 2:20PM this afternoon in Wrigley Field to open a three-game series against the Cubs.
The timing of the games stink, the June schedule against good teams stinks and facing Jake Arrieta today stinks. What has Arrieta done to the Pirates in his career? Oh, he’s just 8-1 with a 1.58 ERA in 11 starts. And that doesn’t even include that little wildcard game five-hit shutout he tossed last season at PNC Park. This is the last pitcher the Pirates want to see after a quick turnaround from a game last night.
The Cubs are 44-20, up 12 games on the Pirates in the division and coming of an off day. To say the Pirates are in underdog in this one would be an understatement. The Cubs money line is -260 and that’s not even a bad line to take when Arrieta is facing the Pirates. At 33-33, the Pirates have a good chance to drop below .5oo for just the third time this season and first since they were 7-8 on April 20.
The Pittsburgh Baseball Club will roll out Francisco Liriano for his 13th start of the season in what has been a trying year for him. Liriano owns a 4.92 ERA and an even worse 5.53 FIP. His 5.5 BB/9 is a career worst and hitters have seem to make a league-wide trend to lay off his pitches out of the zone. His 41 walks leads the NL. He walked 70 last year in 186.2 innings and already has 41 this season. Liriano had arguably his worst start of the season at Wrigley Field on May 13 with eight runs allowed in 4.2 innings. Obviously, he’ll need to better today to give the Pirates any sort of chance against the greatest pitcher of all time.