N.L. Wild Card: Jake Arrieta ready to take center stage vs Pirates on TBS
By David Miniel
It’s been a long time coming, but the day has finally arrived as Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs get set to take on Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Not only did these two clubs end their regular seasons with a win, but they still managed to finish with two of the best records in all of baseball behind the St. Louis Cardinals who racked up 100.
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Arrieta (22-6, 1.77 ERA) will be making his first career postseason start following his N.L. Cy Young-like season, standing neck-and-neck with both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for that honor.
Chicago’s (97-65) ace right-hander pitched six scoreless innings while visiting the Milwaukee Brewers on Oct. 2, issuing zero walks and striking out seven batter’s prior to being pulled from the game.
The Cubs would go on to taking that series opener by the final score of 6-1 behind two RBI doubles (Tommy La Stella, Starlin Castro) and Anthony Rizzo‘s 31st home run of the season.
They ended up sweeping that three-game series, extending their winning streak to eight games and tied their 2008 win total.
Tonight’s contest will surely prove to be one of their toughest tasks to date when the Pirates (98-64) counter their potential Cy Young winner with someone who dominated the first half of the season.
Cole (19-8, 2.60 ERA) picked up a win in his previous start at home, holding the Cubs to one earned run on four hits while issuing two walks and punching out eight batter’s across seven innings of work.
The 25-year-old right-hander holds a career 1-1 record with a 2.45 earned run average during postseason play dating back to 2013 when taking the mound against the Cardinals.
He surrendered only a combined three earned runs behind five hits, including two big flies in 11 innings.
First pitch will be delivered at 7:08 p.m. central time and will air live on TBS, WBBM 780 A.M.
Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineup’s for both club’s: