© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

New Look Pirates Hope to Remain Hot

With their new players, the Battling Buccos are set to take on the Cubs

August 01, 2018 - 5:58 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Coming off of one of the most exciting days they have had all season, the Pirates will look to build off of yesterday’s excitement as they take on first place Chicago at home this evening. Following the big news of the club acquiring relief pitcher Keone Kela from the Texas Rangers or starting pitcher Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh (56-52) also had a notable day on the field, beating the Cubs (61-45) 5-4. Despite the win, the Bucs were unable to move closer in the wild card standings, as all four teams ahead of them also were victorious on Tuesday night. The Pirates enter Wednesday 3.0 games back of the second spot.

On the mound tonight for the Pirates will be right handed rookie, Nick Kingham. In 11 starts this season, Kingham has gone 5-5 with an earned run average of 4.80. Kingham struggled in his last outing, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in only three innings of work in the Pirates 12-6 loss to the New York Mets on July 26. In two career starts against the Cubs, Kingham has gone 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA, striking out nine batters in 12.0 total innings pitched.

Opposing Kingham will be veteran lefty, Cole Hamels. Tonight will be Hamels first start as a member of the Cubs, after the club acquired him from the Rangers in a trade just a few days ago. In 20 starts this season with Texas, Hamels 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA. Hamels ended his career as a Ranger on a sour note, allowing seven runs off of nine hits in only five innings in their 15-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on July 23. In 10 career starts against the Pirates, Hamels has gone 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA, striking out 72 batters in only 67.2 innings of work.

Following tonight’s game, the Bucs will have an off day on Thursday before beginning a three game weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates will then hit the road and head west, where they will play the Colorado Rockies for three games and the San Francisco Giants for four games.