Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs Notes: Battle of the aces in Scherzer-Arrieta matchup

Jun 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (49) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jake Arrieta leads the Chicago Cubs against perennial Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.

Outside of the last two innings Monday night, the Chicago Cubs-Washington Nationals game was a pitcher’s duel. On Tuesday, fans may very well get more of the same given the team’s scheduled starters.

Chicago (39-37) looks to move three games above .500 with a win. A victory also gives the Cubs their fourth win in their last sixth contests – lending the team some momentum. Joe Maddon hopes right-hander Jake Arrieta is up to the task.

The 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner hasn’t been the same pitcher in 2017. Really, his struggles grew evident in the second half last year. But, in a contract year, you can bet he’s more motivated than ever. A competitor such as Arrieta no-doubt hates going into a pitching matchup dubbed the underdog.

But can you really blame anyone making that argument?

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The bearded Cubs’ hurler is 7-5 on the year with a 4.36 ERA. Opposite him, Max Scherzer represents perhaps the best starting pitcher in the National League – and the reigning Cy Young winner.

With an earned run average just north of 2.00, the Washington ace is nothing short of masterful. He routinely takes no-hit bids past the fifth inning and in his last start, carried one into the eighth. Needless to say, he’s pitching well yet again in 2017.

Anthony Rizzo is  back atop the Cubs’ lineup. Given there’s a right-hander on the hill, the move hardly comes as a surprise. Washington (45-31), meanwhile, has gotten solid contributions from depth players in wake of multiple injuries this year.

Breaking down tonight’s lineups

What’s Next

Chicago (39-37) looks to make it two-straight against Washington at Nationals Park. Jake Arrieta takes on Max Scherzer in a battle of aces.

First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. CT. ABC 7 has the broadcast in the Chicagoland area. Meanwhile, 670 WSCR AM carries the radio call.

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