There Was No Doubt About It

A Pittsburgh Pirates Blog

Pirates at Cubs: A Threat and a Chance

06.17.16 Posted by

Liriano vs. Arietta, 2:20 PM

The Bucs are getting raked over the coals by the nefarious schedule makers again, following up a recent one-day “series” in Colorado by playing an afternoon game in Chicago right after an evening game in New York. And to make matters worse, they face Jake Arietta to start things off.

The Pirates are huge underdogs in this game, and they should be. The one nice thing about this series, as poorly time as it is, is that if the Bucs win it (or, amazingly, sweep it), that’s a pretty emphatic statement. Insofar as you believing in “turning points,” this would potentially be one of them. I wouldn’t bet on either of those two things happening, and I’m not sure I’d ascribe a ton of importance to them if they did, but it’d be nice to know it’s still possible.

Arietta, at least, is looking a bit more human these days, allowing four, zero, three, and two runs in his last four starts. That’s a 3.38 ERA, but that’s what passes for a slump with this guy right now. Liriano, on the other hand, is still mostly flailing, though his last outing was a bit better (four runs but only one earned in six innings). The last time he faced the Cubs (which was also in Chicago), he allowed eight runs.

If the Bucs can just survive the upcoming schedule, I think they can make a run in the second half. And if they can play with the Cubs now, in the state they seem to be in, that could bode well for their ability to hold their own over the next few weeks.

First pitch is at 2:20 PM.

Filed under: Francisco Liriano, game preview