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Game Thread: Pirates hope to salvage rubber match with Cubs

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Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

With yesterday’s 14-1 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates are officially out of post-season contention (moment of silence for the optimists among us). This hasn’t been a pretty series to say the least, but they hope to close with a win this afternoon in their final game at Wrigley Field this season. Trevor Williams (7-6, 5.21) is on the mound for the Bucs, while the Cubs will send up veteran lefty Jose Quintana (13-8, 4.15).

Williams’s last outing against the San Francisco Giants on September ninth was a 5.2 inning no-decision, in which he gave up eight hits and four earned runs, walking three and striking out six. He also struck out six in his two previous games, so he’s been showing some consistency in that area. He has a 1-1 record against the Cubs this season, but his ERA is a dismal 10.64 and the Cubs have launched four home runs off him.

Quintana’s been on a bit of a roll since the All Star break, going 6-1 in his last ten starts, but the San Diego Padres had a field day at his expense last Tuesday, driving him out after just three innings in which they scored six runs on seven hits. Still, he’s a reliable starter, and the Cubs’ surging offense does nothing but help him out.

The Pirates’ battery, meanwhile, seems to have a little rookie fatigue going on, with Bryan Reynolds in particular noticeably dropping off his previously torrid pace. As of this writing his batting average is .321, still good enough to be in the top five in the NL. In his last ten games, however, he’s gone a paltry 9-for-42 with only two extra base hits. Luckily Kevin Newman is stepping up in a big way with a nine-game hitting streak, including three-hit games the past two days.

The first pitch at the Friendly Confines happens at 2:20 p.m. Eastern and broadcast on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.

PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman 2B

2 S Bryan Reynolds CF

3 R Pablo Reyes LF

4 R Jose Osuna RF

5 R Elias Diaz C

6 L Colin Moran 1B

7 S Cole Tucker SS

8 R Erik Gonzalez 3B

9 R Trevor Williams RHP

CUBS

1 L Anthony Rizzo 1B

2 R Nicholas Castellanos RF

3 R Kris Bryant 3B

4 L Kyle Schwarber LF

5 S Ben Zobrist 2B

6 S Victor Caratini C

7 L Jason Heyward CF

8 R Nico Hoerner SS

9 R Jose Quintana LHP