PNC Park Pittsburgh

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Pick & Prediction JUN 23TH 2022

MLB | BASEBALL
TV: AT&T Sportsnet | Marquee Sports Network
Logo Chicago Cubs
VS
Logo Pittsburgh Pirates
-125
OPENNER
8

-1.5 +145
CURRENT
8.5o -110

-107
MONEYLINE
-103

7
SCORE
8

If the first three games of the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and visiting Chicago Cubs set any sort of precedent, the clubs might need a calculator to track the runs Thursday in the series finale.

The teams have combined for 40 runs through the three games, all of them lopsided.

Pittsburgh won the opener 12-1 and Tuesday's game 7-1 to run its winning streak to three. Chicago responded by snapping a three-game losing streak Wednesday with a 14-5 win and will go for a series split Thursday.

While both teams have some serious work to do to even get to .500, there have been lighter moments in this series, such as Cubs veteran David Robertson pitching a scoreless eighth Wednesday, then striking out in the ninth in his first at-bat in the major leagues using, according to a team reporter, a borrowed bat and helmet.

Pittsburgh got a poor performance on Wednesday from Jerad Eickhoff, who gave up 10 runs in a spot start and his Pirates debut, and his first major-league appearance since last July.

In addition, the Pirates went with a position player, Diego Castillo, on the mound in the ninth, and he gave up a grand slam to Alfonso Rivas.

Then the Pirates picked up four runs in the bottom of the ninth.

That allowed Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton to smile as he thought of a bigger picture.

"This group continues to play hard," Shelton said. "That game got out of hand, but our effort level did not. We continue to still go after it."

In the series finale, Chicago left-hander Justin Steele (2-5, 4.27 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Pittsburgh left-hander Jose Quintana (1-4, 3.66 ERA).

Steele is coming off something of a relief appearance - not coming out of the bullpen but snapping a career-high five-game losing streak Saturday in a 6-3 win against the Atlanta Braves.

It was his first win since April 9.

"You can build off that outing," said Cubs manager David Ross.

Steele hasn't really pitched poorly - he has a 1.89 ERA in three starts this month, and he has given up three runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts - but he needed to make an adjustment.

That came after former Cubs stalwart Jon Lester suggested to Ross that Steele go after right-handed hitters low and inside. Ross passed that advice on to Steele.

"Since he's told me, that's been my main thing, especially the way my ball is cutting (inside)," Steele said. "My sinker is going the other way, and I'm using my changeup and slider more."

Against the Pirates, Steele is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three career games, two of them starts. He allowed three runs and four hits in three innings April 24.

Quintana has stumbled some recently after he turned in a 2.00 ERA in May, giving up a total of 11 runs in his past three starts.

Saturday, Quintana did not get a decision when he allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings against the San Francisco Giants. He has dished up five homers over his past two starts.

Quintana is 0-4 with a 3.47 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs, with one loss and one no-decision this season.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Chicago Cubs
7
6
Pittsburgh Pirates

Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Recap JUN 23TH 2022

Michael Chavis hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning and a game-ending bloop single for a run in the 10th on Thursday to give the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 win over the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Against Chicago's Scott Effross (1-3) in the 10th inning, Ke'Bryan Hayes was the automatic runner for the Pirates. Bryan Reynolds was intentionally walked before Chavis drove in Hayes on an 0-1 pitch.

Hayes and Reynolds also hit home runs, Oneil Cruz hit an RBI double and Tyler Heineman had an RBI single for the Pirates, who took three of four in the series.

Pittsburgh starter Jose Quintana gave up two runs and six hits in six innings, with six strikeouts and one walk. Pittsburgh's Chris Stratton (4-3) pitched a scoreless 10th inning.

Nico Hoerner and Alfonso Rivas each had a two-run single in the eighth inning as the Cubs took a 7-6 lead. Ian Happ and Patrick Wisdom each an RBI single for the Cubs.

Chicago starter Justin Steele allowed six runs (five earned) and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, with eight strikeouts and no walks.

In the first, Reynolds hit a one-out homer to center, his 12th, for a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead.

Chicago moved ahead in the third. Hoerner had an infield base hit, Nelson Velazquez walked and P.J. Higgins had a bunt single to load the bases. An out later, Willson Contreras reached on a fielder's choice, with Hoerner scoring to tie it. Happ singled home Velasquez to make it 2-1.

In the bottom of the third, with Bligh Madris aboard, Hayes homered to left-center, his third, for a 3-2 Pirates lead.

With two outs in the fifth, Hayes reached on Jonathan Villar's error at second and scored when Reynolds reached on Higgins' error at third.

Pittsburgh's Yu Chang singled and scored on Cruz's double in the sixth, 5-2. Heineman singled, and Cruz scored on Christopher Morel's throwing error from center, making it 6-2 before the Cubs went ahead with a five-run eighth.

Chavis tied it leading off the bottom of the eighth with a home run to center, his seventh.

--Field Level Media

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