Francisco Liriano was stellar in picking up his third straight win. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Slider. Slider. Slider. Changeup. Changeup. Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Fastball! Slider.

Those were the pitches Francisco Liriano threw to get Cubs batters to swing and miss en route to nine strikeouts in the Pirates' 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Liriano gave up only one hit in his seven innings of work. Those 19 whiffs demonstrated Liriano's dominance of the Cubs (18-27) this night, all started by getting an above-average (for him) level of first-pitch strikes.

"Pitching ahead is making it a lot easier for me," Liriano said. "Getting ahead with the fastball, getting ahead with the slider and mixin...

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