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Game Thread: Bucs and Cubs Play Game Two

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Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates look to clinch their three-game series against the Chicago Cubs in PNC on Wednesday night after their late-inning 9-2 barrage on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm Eastern, and with the Cubs 5.0 games out of a Wild Card spot with five games to go, a Chicago loss or a Milwaukee Brewers win will officially eliminate them from playoff contention this year. Dario Agrazal (4-5, 5.08) will get to face southpaw veteran Jon Lester (13-10, 4.51).

Agrazal will head into his final start of the season in a pretty big slump, as he’s struggled to command the ball like he did when he first arrived in Pittsburgh. The youngster will look to last at least six innings for the first time since July 21st. With a 7.43 ERA in three starts this month, the Bucs will take any positive signs they can get from their prospect pitcher. Following in Mitch Keller’s shoes from Tuesday would be just fine.

One thing you can say about Lester is that he has been largely healthy in 2019. Reaching the 31-outing mark this year is a testament to his stability this season. Unfortunately the season has taken a turn for a worse, and Lester has walked too many batters of late. That’s evidenced by his 5.48 ERA this month and 7.12 ERA in August. He’ll look to finish on a high note himself as he quickly ages past his prime pitching years.

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CUBS

1 L Anthony Rizzo 1B

2 R Nicholas Castellanos RF

3 S Ben Zobrist 2B

4 L Kyle Schwarber LF

5 R Willson Contreras C

6 S Ian Happ 3B

7 L Jason Heyward CF

8 R Nico Hoerner SS

9 L Jon Lester LHP

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PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman SS

2 S Bryan Reynolds CF

3 L Adam Frazier 2B

4 R Jose Osuna 1B

5 R Pablo Reyes LF

6 R Erik Gonzalez 3B

7 R Jake Elmore RF

8 R Steven Baron C

9 R Dario Agrazal RHP