The Cubs rebounded from putting up single tallies in each of their first two games in Pittsburgh, jumping all over the Pirates in a 14-5 laugher. The Cubs score more in the 2nd (7) and 9th (4) innings than in those two games combined, building such a big lead that they even let closer David Robertson bat. That’s weirder than Frank Schwindel pitching.
A win this afternoon will mean a series split, though that’s hardly the sort of moral victory you want to celebrate. Justin Steele will be taking the bump in search of his second straight W and just his third of what has been a hard-luck season so far. Continuing to pitch aggressively and efficiently will have him coming out on the right end of these outcomes more often in the future.
Facing the Cubs for the third time this season is lefty José Quintana, who has dominated his former club so far with just three runs allowed over 10 innings. While that might not be dominant relative to the best in the game, this is a pitcher who didn’t exactly establish himself as an ace in Cubs fans’ eyes. Q has been very good this year, though, posting a 3.66 ERA and notching 55 strikeouts to 22 walks with just seven homers allowed.
Five of those homers have come in the last two games, so maybe that regression monster has caught up to him. If the Cubs can put together anything even close to what we saw last night, they can totally flip their performance against their former mate.
Christopher Morel is back in the leadoff spot and playing center, followed by Willson Contreras at catcher and Ian Happ in left field. Patrick Wisdom is at third, Yan Gomes is the DH, Jonathan Villar is at second, and Nico Hoerner is the shortstop. Nelson Velázquez is in right and P.J. Higgins handles first base.
First pitch is at a very early 11:35am CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 23, 2022