Cubs Game Notes For Friday vs. Pittsburgh

The Pirates won three of four games in San Francisco in their most recent series. Pittsburgh is an NL-best 10-4 (.714) on the road since August 12 – only the Twins at 13-3 (.813) have a better record on the road in MLB over that time.  
After wrapping up an eight-game road trip with a 3-5 record, the Cubs find themselves tied for the second NL Wild Card spot with the Brewers. Chicago plays 10 of its final 16 games at Wrigley Field, while the Brewers will play nine of its remaining 16 games on the road.
Anthony Rizzo has recorded 25+ home runs and 25+ doubles in six consecutive seasons, the longest active streak of its kind in the majors. It’s also the longest such streak in franchise history, surpassing Aramis Ramirez who accomplished the feat in five straight seasons from 2004-08.
Jon Lester has a 5.72 ERA across 11 starts since the All-Star break. Overall this season, Lester sits on a 4.51 ERA after posting a 3.32 ERA in 2018 – his increase in ERA (+1.19) is the third-largest season-over-season increase by any NL pitcher this season (ERA qualifiers both seasons).
Since returning to the rotation full time in late May, Steven Brault has only allowed five home runs in 75.0 innings pitched. Among pitchers with at least 75.0 innings pitched since May 29, Brault’s 0.60 HR/9 mark is the lowest in the majors.
Bryan Reynolds currently ranks fifth in the NL with a .325 batting average (among qualified batters). The last Pirate rookie to finish in the top five in batting average in the NL was Lloyd Waner in 1927, when he finished third with a .355 average. Waner’s brother, Paul, finished fifth in the NL in batting average as a rookie for the Pirates just one season prior, in 1926.
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