Cubs Game Notes For Friday vs. Pittsburgh
>Pittsburgh has gone 4-3 versus Chicago this season but lost two of three at Wrigley Field in early April. The Pirates have gone 11-11 at Wrigley since 2017, tied with the Brewers for the best record there by a visiting NL Central team in that span (Reds: 7-16, Cardinals: 5-20).
➢ The Pirates won two straight home series heading into the All-Star break, taking three of four from the Cubs and two of three from the Brewers. Pittsburgh has gone 12-5 (.706) since June 19 – second best in the National League behind only Washington (14-4, .778).
➢ Bryan Reynolds entered the All-Star break with a .342 batting average. This is the fourth-highest pre-break mark by a player in his first MLB season (min. 200 PA), trailing only Joe DiMaggio (.354 in 1936), Richie Ashburn (.351 in 1948) and Ichiro Suzuki (.345 in 2001). Josh Bell hit 27 home runs pre-break; only Willie Stargell (30 in 1973 & 1971) hit more in franchise history.
➢ The Cubs lost five of seven games in the lead up to the break, most recently splitting a road series with the neighboring White Sox. The North Siders have gone 29-16 (.644) at Wrigley Field this season compared to 18-27 (.400) on the road; the .244 difference in win percentage is the largest in MLB.
➢ Javier Baez sports a .289/.324/.556 slash line this season after finishing 2018 with marks of .290/.326/.554. Baez has 56 home runs since last season, tied with Trevor Story for the most among middle infielders.
➢ Pittsburgh’s Chris Archer will face Chicago’s Yu Darvish. Both have struggled this season (Archer – 5.49 ERA, Darvish – 5.01 ERA) but have both had success against their opponent, with Archer sporting a 2.79 ERA in five starts against the Cubs while Darvish has a 3.75 mark in four starts against the Pirates.