The Pirates, like practically every other team in the National League, hasn’t been able to figure out Jake Arrieta since the beginning of summer.
Now the Pirates face the task of trying to beat the Chicago Cubs ace on Wednesday night in a winner-take-all setting of the NL wild card game at PNC Park.
It is a daunting task as Arrieta led the major league in wins by going 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA in 32 starts during the regular season. Since June 21 — the first day of summer — the 29-year-old is 16-1 with a 0.86 ERA in 20 starts.
Runs figure to be at a premium Wednesday night, which is why there is so much interest in how the Pirates’ lineup might look.
Manager Clint Hurdle wouldn’t even hint at who he might run out against Arrieta when he spoke to the media Sunday following a 4-0 victory the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park that concluded the regular season and wrapped up home-field advantage in the wild card game.
“You’ll find out Wednesday,” Hurdle said with a smile.
Hurdle doesn’t have a whole lot of options. The players on the Pirates’ roster have hit a combined .170 against Arrieta with one home run, seven walks, 47 strikeouts, a .215 on-base percentage and a Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"