Fresh off a humbling loss at the hands of the first-place Brewers in a makeup game Thursday, the season-long malaise that has gripped the defending champs shows little sign of lifting.
The Pittsburgh Pirates come to Wrigley for the final three games before the All-Star break mired in fourth place. The lone bright spot for the Buccos has been the amazingly hot Andrew McCutchen, who has hit over .400 since late May.
The Pirates offense has not been good overall in 2017, as they rank 26th out of 30 major league teams in batting average and runs scored. Pitching is slightly better, but still around average with a 4.23 team ERA (14th in MLB).
These two teams have met nine times in 2017, with Pittsburgh winning five, including an April sweep at Wrigley Field. Most recently, the Cubs won two of three at PNC Park in late June.
Chicago has lost two of the first three games of the pre-break homestand. The team needs a spark, though what exactly can create that spark remains a mystery.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, July 7 at 1:20 CT on CSN-C and MLB Network (out of market)
- Saturday, July 8 at 6:15 CT on FOX
- Sunday, July 9 at 12:10 CT on WGN and TBS (out of market)
What To Watch For
- Kyle Schwarber is back from Iowa after retooling his swing. He was hitless in four at-bats Thursday, but Joe Maddon says it will take a few games to see if the adjustments help.
- Jake Arrieta had his best start of the year against the Reds Sunday. It goes without saying the Cubs need more of that the rest of the year.
- Javy Baez has six hits the last four games, with only two strikeouts over that same stretch.