Pittsburgh Pirates Series review vs. Chicago Cubs

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Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Game One: Gerrit Cole (17-8, 2.64ERA) vs. Jon Lester (10-11, 3.46ERA)

Result: Pirates win 3-2

Winning Pitcher: Gerrit Cole (18-8, 2.60ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Jon Lester (10-12, 3.43ERA)

Save: Mark Melancon (51, 1.95ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Gerrit Cole, shove session. Cole was every bit the ace as he dominated the Cubs, going seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out eight.
    • Michael Morse had two hits, including the go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning. He went 2-3 on the day.
    • Tony Watson escaped a jam by striking out Anthony Rizzo to hold the lead in one of the most tense moments of the season…until
    • Mark Melancon struck out Jorge Soler and Javier Baez with the tying run at third base to close out the win. It was a moment worthy of September baseball as Cubs fans were silenced with the whiff of the bat and after the game Melancon declared “our fans are better.” I assume you’ll be seeing that on a t-shirt very, very soon.
  • What went wrong:
    • Jon Lester matched Cole pitch for pitch until the seventh inning, but was very good again. He went seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits and struck out six.
    • Kris Bryant went 2-4 with a run scored.
    • Andrew McCutchen did not have a very good game as he went 0-4 with two strikeouts.
    • Starling Castro had an RBI triple in the ninth inning, setting up the hugely dramatic end to the game.

The Pirates held off the Cubs’ ninth inning rally and won game one of the series in dramatic fashion. They sent Filthy Frankie to the mound in game two with a chance to win the series.

Next: Game Two: Liriano vs. Hammel