MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Chi Cubs0 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 562
Pittsburgh2 0 3 0 2 2 0 0 x 9161
  W: J. Musgrove (11-12)   L: J. Quintana (13-9)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, September 26, 2019
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 10,529

Pirates aim for sweep of stumbling Cubs

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. The Cubs scored 47 runs over their last three-game set with the Pirates, most by any team in a three-game series since the 2000 Mariners also scored 47. Chicago has won nine of its last 10 over Pittsburgh.
  2. The Pirates have lost nine straight, their second nine-game losing streak of 2019. Prior to this season, the franchise had not had a nine-game losing streak since 2011.
  3. The Cubs travel to Pittsburgh following a six-game losing streak at Wrigley, the first time the Cubs have lost at least six straight home games since August 2013. The Cubs' 7.25 runs per game against the Pirates are the fifth most by any team against a divisional opponent in 2019.
  4. Kris Bryant has a career .470 on-base percentage against Pittsburgh, the best mark by any active player against any opponent (minimum 300 PA). Bryant has scored 15 runs and has 14 RBI in 15 games against the Pirates this season.
  5. Adam Frazier hit his 10th home run of the season in the last series, tying his career high set in 2018, though he did it in over 200 fewer plate appearances last season. He's hitting .365 against the Cubs this season -- he's only been better against the Marlins (.368).
  6. In September, Anthony Rizzo has slashed .500/.611/.750 in 10 home games, but .138/.257/.276 in eight road games. He's hit .355 against the Pirates at home this season, but .217 when travelling to Pittsburgh.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/24/2019 thru 9/26/2019

Heading into the third and final game of their series Thursday, the Chicago Cubs and host Pittsburgh Pirates are in the same boat -- going nowhere.

The two National League Central teams are both eliminated from postseason contention.

The Pirates have been playing for pride and player development for some time. The Cubs were dumped from the playoff race Wednesday, not only because they lost 4-2 at Pittsburgh but also because the Milwaukee Brewers clinched a postseason spot by beating the Cincinnati Reds.

Pittsburgh (67-91) will go for a series sweep Thursday against the Cubs (82-76), who have lost eight in a row.

While there are still four games left in the season, attention also will turn to potential offseason moves by the two teams.

Speculation about the fate of Cubs manager Joe Maddon has swirled for some time. On his weekly radio show Wednesday, he said he was "very optimistic" about the future and will engage in discussions with management.

Chicago general manager Theo Epstein, speaking before the Wednesday game, addressed the club's September collapse.

"The extreme nature of it, you know, the degree to which we've stumbled here down the stretch is definitely surprising," he said. "It's not something you anticipate, but it's happened, so we have to try to learn from it, try to grow from it."

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle told The Athletic he will return next year, and multiple reports said general manager Neal Huntington and team president Frank Coonelly also will be retained.

In a statement, Huntington said, "As we have in the past, we will publicly address any personnel decisions at the end of the season."

The Pirates made it official Wednesday that Josh Bell (groin), Starling Marte (wrist), Elias Diaz (knee) and Cole Tucker (knee), who have been out of the lineup lately, are shut down for the final games of the season.

In addition, rookie outfielder Bryan Reynolds left the Wednesday game due to right hamstring discomfort. He got hurt attempting to beat a throw to first.

It's not clear if Reynolds, too, will be shut down. He was in the race for the National League batting title but cooled recently. He is 0-for-6 in the Cubs series, leaving him with a .314 batting average that ranks seventh in the NL.

The Cubs are playing without Javier Baez (thumb) and Kris Bryant (ankle), although Baez was able to pinch-run Wednesday.

In the series finale, Chicago left-hander Jose Quintana (13-8, 4.55 ERA) is slated to face Pittsburgh right-hander Joe Musgrove (10-12, 4.49).

Musgrove has won his past two decisions after losing three in a row. On Sept. 19, he gave up four runs, two earned, and five hits to Seattle over five innings, with six strikeouts and two walks. He left with the lead but did not get a decision in a game the Pirates lost 6-5 in 11 innings.

He has a 2.86 ERA over his past four starts.

Against the Cubs, Musgrove is 2-2 with a 1.47 ERA in six career starts. This year, he has faced Chicago three times, going 0-1 with a 1.08 ERA.

Quintana also is coming off a no-decision. He gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings Saturday against St. Louis, and the Cubs went on to fall 9-8.

Over his past six starts, he has an 8.49 ERA, allowing at least four runs allowed in five of those contests.

In 10 career starts against Pittsburgh, Quintana is 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA. That includes going 4-0 with a 3.38 ERA in five starts -- all Chicago wins -- this year.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 26, 2019

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