The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped the final game of the regular season series to the Chicago Cubs by a score of 4-0. The Pirates came into the last game of the road trip as winners of eight straight. Everyone knew the challenge that awaited them in Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta.
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett started the bottom of the first by walking Dexter Fowler. Fowler would later score on a Kris Bryant single to center field to give the Cubs an early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Jake Arrieta came to the plate and helped his own cause in a big way. Arrieta launched his second home run of the season to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Jake Arrieta was masterful on the mound once again. He took a perfect game into the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh inning, Gregory Polanco singled for the Pirates only hit of the night. Polanco then stole second base on a Sterling Marte strike out. Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch with one out to give the Pirates runners on first and second base. However, Arrieta would get Aramis Ramirez to ground into a double play to end the Pirates only threat of the game.
A.J. Burnett would keep the Pirates in the game, trailing just 2-0 through six innings. Burnett would be lifted for Antonio Bastardo to start the seventh. Bastardo would allow Dexter Fowler to single to start the inning. Austin Jackson would then walk. Jared Hughes would come in and get Kris Bryant to fly out. Bobby LaFromboise then got Anthony Rizzo to flyout to center field. Both runners moved up on the Rizzo fly out. Arquimedes Caminero then came in to face Starlin Castro. Castro hit a deep fly ball to left field that was ruled a home run on the field but, after review, was corrected and ruled a double. Fowler and Jackson both scored to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
The Cubs would lift Arrieta after seven innings of work. Arrieta’s final numbers were seven innings, one hit, no runs and nine strikeouts. Travis Wood would take over on the mound and continue to shut down the Pirates offense. Wood pitched the final two innings and walked a batter and struck out two.
What Stood Out
Jake Arrieta. He shut down the Pirates offense. This is a big concern with the possibility of facing him again in the one game Wild Card Playoff.
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Many fans weren’t happy with Home Plate umpire Rob Drake. He didn’t appear to be consistent with the strike zone and at one point he lost track of the count.
Also, for the first time this weekend, the wind wasn’t a really a factor.
The Pittsburgh Pirates return home to PNC Park for a HUGE three game series with the St Louis Cardinals. The Pirates come into the series trailing the Cardinals by just three games in the National League Central Division race. The first game of the series will take place on Monday night. The pitching match up will feature J.A. Happ for the Pirates and Lance Lynn for the Cardinals. Keep an eye out for our complete series preview.