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Pirates look for a marvelous matinee in game two in Chicago

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St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

A day after the Cubs dropped a 17-8 bomb on them, on Saturday the Pirates will take the field for game two of the three games series at Wrigley Field, scheduled for 2:20 p.m. Eastern. Pirates’ rookie right-hander James Marvel will make his second major league start against Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks (10-9, 3.33)

The soft throwing, six year veteran Hendricks has spent his entire major league career with the Cubs, posting a 3.11 ERA in 159 starts since debuting in 2014.His fastball averages just 87.3 mph, but he couples that with a changeup and terrific command to keep the hitters off balance while walking just 1.8 per nine innings.

Hendricks has faced the Pirates twice this year. On July 2 in Pittsburgh he left after allowing two runs in just three innings en route to a 5-1 Cubs’ loss, then had a much better game on Aug. 16 in Pittsburgh, giving up one run in seven innings, although the Pirates won that game as well, by a 3-2 score.

This year Hendricks has been equally tough against both right and left-handed batters, allowing a .692 OPS to righties on a 250/283/409 line, and a .676 OPS to lefties (236/293/384)

Marvel is a similar style pitcher who is not overpowering, showing a fastball that sat at 90 to 91 in his first start, but with fine command and as he mixed in his off speed pitches. Marvel started the year in Double-A Altoona, going 9-5 with a 3.10 ERA in seventeen starts, then once promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis stepped it up to a 7-0 record with a 2.67 ERA in eleven starts. Last Sunday vs. the Cardinals at PNC Park, Marvel debuted with two runs in five innings on four hits and two walks.

Marvel’s minor league stats this year showed a reverse split, as he allowed a lower OPS to left-handed batters, .570 on a 195/293/287 line, than he did to right-handers, who posted a .690 OPS (248/300/390).

Center fielder Starling Marte remains out of the lineup after rolling over his left wrist on a diving catch a few days ago. First baseman Josh Bell is also being held out after pulling up while running the bases yesterday with apparent hamstring discomfort.

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PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman SS

2 S Bryan Reynolds LF

3 L Colin Moran 3B

4 R Jose Osuna 1B

5 L Adam Frazier 2B

6 R Pablo Reyes RF

7 L Kevin Kramer LF

8 R Elias Diaz C

9 R James Marvel RHP

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CUBS

1 L Anthony Rizzo 1B

2 R Nicholas Castellanos RF

3 R Kris Bryant 3B

4 L Kyle Schwarber LF

5 R Willson Contreras C

6 S Ben Zobrist 2B

7 L Jason Heyward CF

8 R Nico Hoerner SS

9 R Kyle Hendricks RHP