Chicago Cubs: Team looks for sweep as Jose Quintana toes the rubber
By Jake Misener
After receiving outstanding starting pitching in the first two games of the series, the Chicago Cubs look for a series sweep Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.
Entering Tuesday’s series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs sit a high-water 3 1/2 games ahead in the National League Central. In the first two games of the set, Cubs starters allowed just one earned runs in 13 innings pitched.
Needless to say, it’s been a good start to the homestand.
Chicago (71-60) turns to left-hander Jose Quintana (4-3, 4.50) in the final game of the series. Hoping he can produce something closer to his 12-strikeout debut, the Cubs send him to battle. Since that impressive outing, he owns an earned run average north of 5.00.
Opposite the right-hander, Pittsburgh (63-70) sends former Yankee Ivan Nova to the mound. Nova is an innings-eater – there’s no doubt about that. He’s been a solid member of the Pirates’ starting rotation this season, but has struggled since the All-Star Break.
The Cubs need to finish the Pirates off. The team again has a prime opportunity at-hand. Atlanta, a rebuilding club, comes to town on Thursday afternoon. St. Louis is in the middle of a brutal road trip and if Chicago has a solid homestand, they might finally find some breathing room atop the Central.
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Chicago and Atlanta open a four-game weekend series Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.45) starts for the Cubs in the opener. First pitch is at 1:20 p.m. CT.