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Chi Cubs0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 162
Pittsburgh1 1 3 0 1 1 0 0 x 770
  W: R. Contreras (2-1)   L: M. Swarmer (1-3)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)5:05 PM CT, June 21, 2022
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 11,254

Youth invasion continues as Pirates host Cubs

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. The Cubs have won six of its last eight road games against Pittsburgh, and since 2000, are 100-88 (.531) against the Pirates on the road. Chicago holds a road winning record against just one other team in that timespan (minimum 20 games played), Houston (56-55, .504).
  2. The Cubs' 41 losses through 66 games are the most losses recorded by the franchise through 66 games since 2012 (44), and, over the past 40 seasons with 66 or more games, they have reached 41+ losses just three times through 66 games (1982, 2012, and 2022).
  3. Caleb Kilian is the third Cubs pitcher to debut within the last 10 seasons to allow eight or more earned runs over their first two career MLB starts. The other two were Adbert Alzolay and Jen-Ho Tseng who both allowed eight earned runs over their first two MLB starts.
  4. The Pirates rank third worst in the MLB with 206 RBI through 65 games this season, which is the tied for the sixth-fewest RBI through Pittsburgh's first 65 games of a season since RBI became an official stat in 1920, and the fewest since recording 204 RBI in 2010.
  5. On Sunday, Jack Suwinski became the first rookie in MLB history to cap a three-homer game with a walk-off blast. He's 17-for-35 (.486) with seven homers and 12 RBI during a 11-game home hitting streak.
  6. JT Brubaker, who is still looking for his first win of the season, is the first Pirates' pitcher with seven or more losses without a single win through at least 13 starts of a season since Joe Gibbon did so in 1965 (0 wins and 8 losses).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 6/20/2022 thru 6/23/2022

The four-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and visiting Chicago Cubs, which continues on Tuesday, looks to be a showcase for both clubs' younger players. It certainly was in the opener on Monday.

Pirates rookies Bligh Madris, in his major league debut, and Oneil Cruz, in his season debut and third big-league game, combined for five hits and six RBIs in Pittsburgh's 12-1 rout of the Cubs.

That came on the heels of another Pittsburgh rookie, Jack Suwinski, hitting three homers, including a walk-off winner, on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.

Both the Pirates and Cubs are staring pretty far up at .500, so they are looking hard ahead to the future.

Madris was the 12th player to make his major league debut with Pittsburgh this season, and that doesn't count Cruz.

"We've had a special group come up and contribute to the big-league club, and we're hoping to just keep doing that, doing it together and having fun," Madris said.

There will be some expected bumps for teams breaking in a lot of young players.

"We're going to do some things that are going to be frustrating," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. "We're also going to do some things ... that are going to be really exciting. It makes you start to look at it like, OK, the plan's starting to come to fruition a little bit."

The Cubs were on the rocky side of the youth invasion in the series opener.

Caleb Kilian, making his third career start, allowed seven runs, five earned, in 2 1/3 innings.

The four Cubs slated to start on the mound in the series, including Kilian, have combined for 42 career starts. The others are Matt Swarmer (four starts), Keegan Thompson (13 starts) and Justin Steele (22 starts).

"The focus is on these young guys," veteran Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks said. "We just want to keep that winning environment, even if things don't go our way day in and day out."

The Cubs have used 15 rookies this season, 10 of them pitchers. The young arms will get a good look with Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley and Drew Smyly on the injured list.

"We're a team that can be great. It's just, we have a lot of inexperienced guys," Stroman said. "They're guys that can perform, but once you get to this level, it's finding your routine, finding your flow and everything that comes in between."

On Tuesday, in a matchup of a couple of those aforementioned inexperienced players, Chicago right-hander Swarmer (1-2, 5.23 ERA) is expected to face Pittsburgh right-hander Roansy Contreras (1-1, 3.06).

Contreras, 22, will be making his sixth start of the season, the seventh of his career. He has given up four runs in each of his past two starts while failing to finish the fifth both times.

His only career appearance against the Cubs was his big-league debut last Sept. 29. He pitched three scoreless innings and struck out four.

Swarmer, 28, lost each of his past two starts, and he tied a franchise record by yielding six homers on June 11 against the New York Yankees. In his first two starts, he became the first Cubs pitcher since Gene Lillard in 1939 to open his career with two consecutive starts going at least six innings and giving up no more than one run.

Swarmer has not faced Pittsburgh.

--Field Level Media

Updated June 21, 2022

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