Vanimal snapped a three game losing streak by taking a 3-2 decision against Cincinnati’s Alfredo Simon in his last start Saturday afternoon at PNC Park. A key for him is to come out ready to pitch; after a string of early inning beat downs, he was strong from the get go with some dive to his deliveries against the Reds. If he gets through the first couple of frames, Vance usually has six or seven good innings in him.
Worley hasn't seen the Cubs much. He faced them twice as a Phil and has a 5-3 win in June against Travis Wood. Overall, he usually works pretty well versus the Cubbies; he's 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, and both wins have come at Wrigley Field.
Wada was first signed by the Orioles after a strong career in Japan, but blew out his arm in 2012. His AAA stats in 2013 weren't impressive, but he came back strong in the minors this year for the Cubs, who had inked him as a free agent, and he got the call after Chicago traded half its staff away. Wada works in the main with an 89 MPH fastball, slider, and change with a show-me hook. He likes to backdoor the slider early in the count for an easy strike, and fires his heater up and away from righties.
The 31-year old usually doesn't get very deep into games - he's gone seven full innings just once in nine starts - but hasn't given up more than a pair of runs in seven of those nine outings. This will be the first time he's faced Pittsburgh.
The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Jordy Mercer SS, Cutch CF, Russ Martin C, Starling Marte LF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Jose Tabata RF and Worley P. It's the usual LHP lineup.
The game starts at 2:20 and will be aired by Root Sports and KDKA-AM 1020.
- Flyin' Right: Justin Wilson has gone seven straight scoreless outings.
- El Toro: Pedro may be able to pinch hit during this series; Travis Snider is close to 100%.
- Lefties In A Row: Chicago will throw three southpaws - Wada, Felix Doubront and Travis Wood - at the Pirates in this series.
- Sweet Home Chicago: The Cubbies have won six in a row at Wrigley to climb above .500 at 35-33 in Chi-town. We needn't remind fans that the Pirates are 27-40 on the road.
- Tick Tock: The Pirates have 23 games left in the season.