Sports Magazine

Game 37: Pirates at Cubs

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
Game two of three game series against the Cubs in Chicago continues this afternoon. First pitch set for 4:05 PM EST.
Probable starters: Gerrit Cole (5-1, 2.32 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (3-2, 4.10 ERA) -- Jon Lester will go for his fifth consecutive quality start, when the Cubs face the Pirates on Saturday afternoon.
The left-hander overcame a slow start after signing a six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs in the offseason. Lester is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in May after going 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in April.
The Pirates will counter with Gerrit Cole (5-1, 2.32 ERA). The right-hander allowed one unearned run in six innings en route to beating the Cubs on April 29.
After walking off on Friday, the Cubs look to extend their win streak to six games, while the Pirates will try to halt their slide at three.
Things to watch
• The Pirates have had few looks at Lester, the former lifelong American Leaguer. But Corey Hart has a couple of homers off Lester, including one last season when he was with Seattle, and he may be in the starting lineup, most likely at first base in place of Pedro Alvarez, who hit a solo homer off Kyle Hendricks in the opener.
• The Cubs were leading the National League by averaging 3.98 pitches per plate appearance entering Friday. The mark is second in the Majors behind the Red Sox, who were averaging 4.01. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was averaging 4.38 pitches per plate appearance, third in the league and fourth in the bigs.
• Lester will face the Pirates for only the second time in his career, having lost to them on June 24, 2011, when he was with the Red Sox.
Sarah Trotto is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs."

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