Chicago Cubs looking repeat of Arrieta’s last start tonight vs. Bucs

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 02: Jake Arrieta
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 02: Jake Arrieta /

 The Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta is coming off one of his best starts all season. He’ll look to continue that against the Pittsburg Pirates as they look for the series win.

The Chicago Cubs hope Jake Arrieta can find that form that made him one of the best pitchers over the last two years. Correction, they NEED him to find it. In his last outing against the Cincinnati Reds, Arrieta went seven innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six in a 6-2 victory. At home, Arrieta is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA.

The Cubs (43-43) struggled defensively in Friday’s game but managed to survive three errors. They went on to take the opener from the Pirates (40-47) with a 6-1 win. There were six errors between the two teams and 347 pitches combined. And the Cubs scored all their runs via the long ball, less one on Kris Bryant’s triple.

Arrieta (8-6, 4.33) said that he was tired from the long 2017 season. The Cubs are hoping he’s gaining his previous form as they head into the All-Star break. Arrieta has had five games in which he didn’t make it into the fifth inning. While John Lackey wasn’t a staff ace, Arrieta will need to help pick up the slack from his absence.

The Pirates will send Ivan Nova (8-6, 3.24) to the mound, looking to find the early season form he had to start the year. After posting five quality starts in the month of April, with a shutout to against the Miami Marlins to lower his ERA to 1.50, he’s cooled off since then.

The Cubs will go with Ben Zobrist in the leadoff spot, followed by “Bryzzo” with Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Ian Happ will hold the cleanup spot tonight.

Here’s a look at the lineups for tonight’s game:

Tonight’s game is a 6:15 p.m. CT start at Wrigley Field. FOX will have the television coverage, while 670 The Score will have the radio broadcast. Be sure to check back later on for more Cubs coverage, as well as the postgame coverage following the conclusion of tonight’s game.