CSN's Kip Lewis and Tony Andracki talk about the big tests the Cubs have this week against the Pirates in Pittsburgh and then against the Washington Nationals back at Wrigley Field in this week's edition of the Honda Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Honda dealers.
The Cubs head to PNC Park for the first time since Jake Arrieta shut down the Pirates in the one-game wild card playoff last October. Only this time, the Cubs will have to get to Gerrit Cole and Co. without Kyle Schwarber, who drove in three runs in that game.
The Pirates are one of the hottest teams in baseball entering the series having won six of seven (with Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds breaking up the winning streak).
After Cole in the series opener on Comcast SportsNet on Monday night, the Bucs trot out Jonathan Niese on Tuesday and Juan Nicasio on Wednesday (also on CSN).
The Cubs counter with Jason Hammel, Arrieta and Jon Lester in the three-game series. That trio has combined to allow just 13 earned runs in 94 1/3 innings this season, good for a ridiculous 1.24 ERA.
The Cubs then welcome the Nationals to town Thursday night for the start of a four-game series with Bryce Harper and Co.