After Sunday's Charlie Morton scare, where Morton pitched poorly and came off of the mound in the second inning complaining about a popping noise in his foot, Morton will start tonight for the Pirates without missing so much as a start. Circumstances have changed greatly since the last time Morton pitched, though. On Sunday, Morton was trying to end a three-game losing streak and keep the Pirates from falling into a 1 1/2 game deficit behind the Cardinals. Tonight, he'll try to keep a four-game winning streak going and ensure that the Pirates wake up in at least a first place tie tomorrow morning.
The bottom line for the Pirates right now is that they need to keep on taking care of business against teams like the Cubs. The Pirates and Cardinals have both win six of their last ten, the Reds have won seven of ten, and the Nationals (who are on the periphery of the wild card race, 5 1/2 behind the Reds) have won eight of ten. No one is going to hand this to the Pirates; they're going to have to earn it. That's fine; it's more fun this way, anyway.
Jake Arrieta starts for the Cubs. He has only been marginally better as a Cub than he was as an Oriole. He still walks people like crazy and his strikeout numbers are dipping. The only reason that he hasn't been much worse as a Cub is BABIP of .258, which is awfully low. If the Pirates can show some patience tonight, I think they'll do fine against him.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05.