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3
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Pittsburgh0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 390
Chi Cubs0 1 0 1 3 3 0 0 x 8130
8
  W: J. Quintana (7-7)   L: T. Williams (3-3)
11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE1:20 PM CT, July 14, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 39,291

Surging Cubs go for sweep against Pirates

According to STATS
According to STATS

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs

  1. Pittsburgh has gone 4-3 versus Chicago this season but lost two of three at Wrigley Field in early April. The Pirates have gone 11-11 at Wrigley since 2017, tied with the Brewers for the best record there by a visiting NL Central team in that span (Reds: 7-16, Cardinals: 5-20).
  2. The Pirates won two straight home series heading into the All-Star break, taking three of four from the Cubs and two of three from the Brewers. Pittsburgh has gone 12-5 (.706) since June 19 -- second best in the National League behind only Washington (14-4, .778).
  3. Bryan Reynolds entered the All-Star break with a .342 batting average. This is the fourth-highest pre-break mark by a player in his first MLB season (min. 200 PA), trailing only Joe DiMaggio (.354 in 1936), Richie Ashburn (.351 in 1948) and Ichiro Suzuki (.345 in 2001). Josh Bell hit 27 home runs pre-break; only Willie Stargell (30 in 1973 & 1971) hit more in franchise history.
  4. The Cubs lost five of seven games in the lead up to the break, most recently splitting a road series with the neighboring White Sox. The North Siders have gone 29-16 (.644) at Wrigley Field this season compared to 18-27 (.400) on the road; the .244 difference in win percentage is the largest in MLB.
  5. Javier Baez sports a .289/.324/.556 slash line this season after finishing 2018 with marks of .290/.326/.554. Baez has 56 home runs since last season, tied with Trevor Story for the most among middle infielders.
  6. Pittsburgh's Chris Archer will face Chicago's Yu Darvish. Both have struggled this season (Archer -- 5.49 ERA, Darvish -- 5.01 ERA) but have both had success against their opponent, with Archer sporting a 2.79 ERA in five starts against the Cubs while Darvish has a 3.75 mark in four starts against the Pirates.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/12/2019 thru 7/14/2019

The Chicago Cubs are off to a perfect start since returning from the All-Star break.

Now, they want to keep it going.

The Cubs will try to finish off a three-game sweep against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates in the series finale Sunday afternoon. Chicago won the opener 4-3 on Friday and cruised to a 10-4 victory on Saturday to set up a chance for the sweep.

No wonder Chicago manager Joe Maddon is feeling confident about his team despite an up-and-down start to the season.

"You're going to see a better brand of all this in the second half," Maddon said in comments published by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh wants to wrap up the series on a high note before heading south to visit the St. Louis Cardinals next week.

The Pirates have dropped back-to-back games and four of their past six. They want to avoid a repeat of early June, which included a three-game losing streak and a seven-game losing streak before the team regained its footing.

Pirates outfielder Starling Marte believes he and his teammates will be fine. Marte is coming off a two-homer performance Saturday.

"We've proven many times that even if we're behind, we're going to come out on top, and that's our mentality, that's our battle," Marte said in comments published by MLB.com. "Right now, our mentality is to be tough and to continue battling, and no matter what the situation is on the scoreboard, making sure we're giving a very tough game to the other team."

Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana (6-7, 4.19 ERA) will make his 18th start of the season. He won his final two games before the break, posting back-to-back quality starts, and will pitch on nine days' rest since his most recent appearance July 4.

In seven career starts against the Pirates, Quintana is 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA. He has six walks and 46 strikeouts in 42 innings.

Pittsburgh will counter with right-hander Trevor Williams (3-2, 4.54), who will make his 13th start of the season. It will mark his first start since being activated from the paternity list earlier this week after he and his wife welcomed an adopted daughter.

Williams posted a picture of his daughter, Josephine Marie, on his Twitter account.

"Through the gift of adoption & the selfless love of her birth mom, Jojo has blessed out family," Williams said in the tweet. "We are overjoyed and can't imagine our family without her. We ask for prayers for our family and for Jojo's birth family."

Williams hopes adrenaline will trump new-parent fatigue against the Cubs. He is 3-4 with a 4.25 ERA in nine games (seven starts) against Chicago, with 19 walks and 30 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings.

Willson Contreras will try to stay hot after belting a three-run homer for the Cubs on Saturday.

Veteran starter Jon Lester also homered in the win. He said Chicago is focused on another playoff run this season.

"I don't think anybody in the clubhouse is worried about where we're at," Lester said in comments published by the Sun-Times. "We've just got to dig ourselves (out). ... The outside noise, the panic and all that other stuff won't affect us."

--Field Level Media

Updated July 14, 2019

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