Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones have five-hit games for Pirates

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Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones, hitting third and fourth respectively in the Pirates order, both had five hits Friday as part of a 10-6 win over the Cubs.
Both also homered, with Jones delivering a tie-breaking three-run shot in the eighth and McCutchen adding a solo blast in the ninth. Jones ended up driving in five runs, while McCutchen scored five times.
It’s the first time in 40 years that two Pirates have had five hits in the same game. On Aug. 1, 1970, Bob Robertson and Willie Stargell both had five hits in a 20-10 win over the Braves.
McCutchen became just the fifth Pirate in the expansion era to score five runs in game, joining Stargell (in the aforementioned contest), Rennie Stennett (in his famous 7-for-7 game), Bobby Bonillla and Brian Giles.
The last time teammates had five hits in a game was last April 15, when Ian Kinsler went 6-for-6 and Marlon Byrd went 5-for-6 in the Rangers’ 19-6 win over the Orioles.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”