The Pittsburgh Pirates (51-70) take on the Chicago Cubs (64-58) for three games this weekend, with the first two taking place at PNC Park, before the series shifted to Williamsport, PA today for the Little League Classic.
The Pirates will send out Mitch Keller for his fifth big league start tonight. He gave up one run over five innings in his last start six days ago against the Los Angeles Angels. Prior to that, he was in the minors for seven weeks, where he currently sits as the International League leader in ERA and strikeouts, while ranking second in WHIP. The Cubs will counter with veteran lefty Jose Quintana, who has a 4.11 ERA in 135.2 innings, with 124 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP. In his last start, he allowed one run over six innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, striking out 14 batters in the game. Quintana tossed seven shutout innings, with 11 strikeouts, in an April start against the Pirates. He made back-to-back starts against them in early July and allowed three runs each time.
This will be the fourth time that the Pirates play a home game away from their home park. They actually played in Allegheny City until 1907, when that town became part of Pittsburgh, so they have technically played plenty of games outside of Pittsburgh. The other three non-home home games were:
September 18, 1890 in Canton, OH, an 11-10 loss to Cy Young and the Cleveland Spiders
September 22, 1890 in Wheeling, WV, an 8-3 loss to the New York Giants
August 20, 2017 in Williamsport, PA, a 6-3 win over the St Louis Cardinals in the inaugural Little League Classic
My own very thorough research says that the Canton game was actually an exhibition game and that the Pirates (then called Alleghenys) actually played a regular season game in Altoona on September 3, 1890, and ironically enough, they lost that game to Cy Young too. You can read the summary here, which tells you why Canton was an exhibition game and Altoona was a regular season, but I have no explanation as to how the games got mixed up over time. I just know that it’s wrong in the record books.
Here are the lineups:
Good Guys (TOMKIM is Pablo Reyes, don’t ask)
— Pirates (@Pirates) August 18, 2019
— Chicago Cubs (Cubs) August 18, 2019
— SWAGTRON® (@SwagTronUSA) August 18, 2019