Cubs @ Pirates Series Preview (September 28-30): TV and Game Info, Starting Pitchers, Insights

The Cubs (67-89) are playing out the string of their season amidst another slump as they arrive in Pittsburgh having lost 13 of their last 15 games. That stretch includes dropping all six of the games in the final homestand of 2021. They begin the final week of the year with three against the Pirates (58-98) at PNC Park.

The Pirates are even worse than the Cubs and are guaranteed a top-four pick in the upcoming draft, so these are two teams with nothing to play for other than pride. This point of the season is kind of weird when teams have long since given up or been eliminated, so fans are really in it for little other than devotion and habit as well.

The grind of a long losing season makes the prospect of getting it over with seem like sweet relief. On the other hand, it also means the end of Cubs baseball for five months. Recent seasons featured playoff runs that gave the end of the season real excitement and meaning, something sorely lacking at this moment.

The only real draw to watching these games with so little at stake is to get that one last dose of baseball before the long winter. With that in mind, maybe try to enjoy these games and see if the Cubs can actually win a couple. Either way, this is going to be it until spring training in March.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Tuesday, September 28 at 6:35pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
  • Wednesday, September 29 at 6:35pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
  • Thursday, September 30 at 6:35pm CT on Marquee Sports Network

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitchers Age T ERA W/L FIP K/BB
9/28 Alec Mills 29 R 4.83 6-7 4.43 2.73
Mitch Keller 25 R 5.96 5-11 4.33 1.93
9/29 Kyle Hendricks 31 R 4.81 14-7 4.97 2.93
9/30 Justin Steele 26 L 4.86 3-4 6.06 2.00

What to Watch For

  • Hendricks hopes to end his underwhelming season on a high note as he makes his final start.
  • Willson Contreras had four hits and two walks against the Cardinals as he heats up late in the year. As rumors already start to swirl, let’s hope these aren’t the final six games of his Cubs career.
  • Chicago’s next loss will be number 90 on the season, their first 90-loss season since 2013. Hard to believe for a team that was tied for first in June.
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