If the Pittsburgh Pirates miss the playoffs -- or, even worse, lose their hold on a winning record -- they may look back ruefully on how they played vs. the Chicago Cubs in September. With Friday's victory, the Cubs recorded their fourth straight victory over the Pirates, and they'll be going for No. 5 on Saturday afternoon.
Getting the start for the Cubs will be Baltimore Orioles castoff Jason Berken, who will be making his first appearance in a Cubs uniform. Berken was claimed off waivers by the Cubs on Sept. 7 after being released by Baltimore. Berken has 24 career starts, all of which came in 2009. Since then he's appeared in relief 82 times, throwing 110.1 innings. For his career, he has a 5.40 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. In his lone appearance in 2012, he gave up two earned runs in an inning pitched vs. the Texas Rangers.
The Pirates will counter with Wandy Rodriguez, a pitcher with whom the Cubs are very familiar. In his career vs. the Cubs, Rodriguez has a 3.84 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, though he's been a full run worse at Wrigley Field. In his two starts against the Cubs in 2012, Rodriguez has allowed four earned runs in 14 innings.
The game will start at 12:05 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on CSN.