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Game Thread: Pirates Look For Series Win Against Cubs

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MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After an exciting walk-off win last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates will attempt to give the Chicago Cubs their fifth straight loss this afternoon. Steven Brault (3-1, 4.33) takes the bump for the Pirates and will oppose fellow lefty Jon Lester (9-8, 4.43)

In two starts since returning from his shoulder injury, Brault has tossed 10 innings, allowing six earned runs. Batters are hitting .216/.293/.378 against him during that span. Brault has not started against the Cubs this season, but he has allowed four earned runs in three innings of work against them.

Meanwhile, Lester has been awful in the month of August. In three starts, he’s given up 17 earned runs in 14 innings. Against the Oakland Athletics on August 6, Lester allowed 11 runs (nine earned) in four innings of work. His overall ERA has ballooned almost a full run since the month started.

Against the Pirates this season, Lester has been effective allowing three earned runs in 8.2 innings of work.

First pitch is at 1:35 eastern.

Some tidbits

  • In seven games since returning from his Clint Hurdle getaway, Josh Bell is hitting .346/.433/.885 with four home runs in 30 plate appearances.
  • Brault is fourth among Pirates pitchers in in fWAR (0.8) although he’s pitched just 70.2 innings. For reference, Chris Archer has an fWAR of 0.5 in 118.2 innings of work.
  • With a wRC+ of 101, Brault ranks 5th among Pirates hitters starting today.
  • With an fWAR of -1.0, Elias Diaz ranks 1297th among 1307 total position players in that category.

Lineups

Cubs

CF Jason Heyward

RF Nicholas Castellanos

3B Kris Bryant

1B Anthony Rizzo

SS Javier Baez

2B Addison Russell

LF Ian Happ

C Jonathan Lucroy

P Jon Lester

Pirates

2B Kevin Newman

LF Bryan Reynolds

CF Starling Marte

1B Josh Bell

RF Melky Cabrera

3B Colin Moran

C Elias Diaz

SS Erik Gonzalez

P Steven Brault