MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Chi Cubs1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 280
Pittsburgh0 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 x 890
  W: M. Keller (1-1)   L: Z. Davies (1-1)
3:35 PM PT4:35 PM MT5:35 PM CT6:35 PM ET18:35 ET22:35 GMT6:35 3:35 PM MST5:35 PM EST6:05 PM VEN2:35 UAE (+1)4:35 PM CT, April 10, 2021
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 7,052

Cubs look to keep beating Pirates

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. These teams opened the season against each other in Chicago, with the Cubs winning two of three games. The Cubs have won the season series with Pittsburgh every year since 2015, including a 6-4 edge last season.
  2. Chicago is the only MLB team that hasn't either scored or allowed six or more runs in any game. Their six-game streak of both scoring and allowing five runs or fewer is tied for the second longest to open a season in franchise history; they had a 13-game streak to start 1963, and a six-gamer in 1970.
  3. The Pirates have lost five straight games after an Opening Day win against the Cubs, the longest active skid in the majors. Pittsburgh has allowed double-digit runs in each of its last two games (14-1 and 11-4 losses to Reds) and has an MLB-high 7.35 ERA for the season.
  4. Phillip Evans has a team-high .438 batting average this season (7/16), ranking third among MLB rookies with at least 15 at-bats (Yermin Mercedes, CWS - .565; Jonathan India, Cin - .476).
  5. Joc Pederson picked up his first hit of the season Wednesday (1-for-17), a solo homer in the eighth inning of a 4-2 loss to Milwaukee. Over a quarter of Pederson's career hits (131 of 497, 26.4 percent) have been home runs.
  6. Jake Arrieta gave up one run in 6.0 innings in a win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. He is 13-6 in his career against the Pirates, tied for the third most wins against them among active pitchers (Johnny Cueto, 21; Adam Wainwright, 17).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/8/2021 thru 4/11/2021

The Chicago Cubs will be looking to keep building on their offense Saturday afternoon when they play the second game of a series in Pittsburgh against the Pirates.

In the series opener Thursday, the Cubs scored a 4-2 win with all of their runs on homers by Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo -- three players they count on heavily for offense, but who have struggled in the early going this season.

Most notably, the Cubs had a season-high 11 hits against the struggling Pirates. Heading into that game, Chicago had a .124 team batting average that, according to the team's website, was the second-worst team average through six games since 1900 (the 2013 Pirates hit .119 over their first six games).

"It's nice to get the big boys going," Chicago manager David Ross said after the team's first road game. "When they have a good day, we've got a really good offense and a good chance to win that day."

Even after the outburst, through seven games the Cubs' .157 team average is the worst in the major leagues.

"We're having fun, even when we lose games," Baez said. "Obviously, we're not trying to lose games, but we're giving everything we have, so at the end of the game, we try to stay together and be a family in the clubhouse."

The Pirates know what a win feels like, assuming they can remember back to their season opener. They spoiled the Cubs' home opener April 1, 5-3.

Since then, Pittsburgh has lost six in a row by a collective 43-14, four of those losses to the Cubs, including Thursday's home opener.

It was the first time there were fans at PNC Park in more than 18 months, albeit less than 8,000 per COVID-19 restrictions.

Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton enjoyed having people replace cardboard cutouts in the seats, and said he hopes their appreciation includes understanding that the Pirates are in a rebuilding mode.

"It was great to be back in this ballpark with fans," Shelton said. "I think our fans realize that we're building something here, and that's going to be a journey."

For Saturday, Chicago right-hander Zach Davies (1-0, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh right-hander Mitch Keller (0-1, 9.00 ERA), a rematch from Sunday's 4-3 Cubs' win at Wrigley Field.

Davies made his Cubs debut that game, giving up two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He is 5-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 15 career starts against Pittsburgh.

"He's a really, really confident pitcher," Chicago's Ian Happ said. "He doesn't try to do too much. He works both corners, and he really understands himself."

Keller, in that first outing, had command issues in pitching on his 25th birthday. He threw 31 pitches in the first inning, 77 overall in three innings, and gave up three runs on two hits and four walks, with four strikeouts.

"I wasn't nibbling, I just didn't have it," Keller said. "I feel like I'm really close to being really good. You just have to attack the (strike) zone and fill it more and get ahead in counts.

"I know what I need to do. I'm not pressing. It's all going to come through reps. The more times I do it, the more times I can experience it and know what works and doesn't work."

That start left Keller 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 9, 2021

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