Pittsburgh Pirates 1, Chicago Cubs 7: Stars And Stiffs

Picture courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Picture courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates /

On Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates got blasted by the Chicago Cubs by a score of 7-1. With the loss, the Pirates fell to 15-12 on the season.

For the first time since losing two-of-three to the San Diego Padres two weeks ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates have lost a series. On Tuesday night, the Bucs were dominated by the Chicago Cubs by a score of 7-1. Now, the Pirates will have to win tomorrow to avoid being swept for the first time this season. Anyway, here are the three Pirate stars and stiffs from the loss.


Infielder Sean Rodriguez – Pittsburgh Pirates utility man Sean Rodriguez got the start at second base, before moving to shortstop, on Monday night and went 2-3 at the plate while scoring the lone Pirate run. With the hit Sean Rod improved his slash line to an impressive .342/.432/.763/1.195 on the season, to go with a .497 wOBA and a wRC+ of 212. Rodriguez also made a trio of stellar defensive plays. In the top of the 3rd inning with Kris Bryant on second base and two outs Sean Rodriguez make a great sliding stop on a ball that was smoked to his left by Javier Baez and threw on to first base to end the inning. Rodriguez also made a great running play to retire Dexter Fowler and then during the very next at bat a fantastic diving stop to throw out Jorge Soler. The latter two were responsible for the final two outs of the fifth inning.

Pitcher A.J. Schugel – Arguably the Pirates biggest surprise this season has been reliever A.J. Schugel and his stellar work continued on Monday night. Schugel faced nine batters, retired all nine, and he struck out three of the nine. With the outing Schugel lowered his FIP to 2.61 and ERA to 3.46 on the season. Also, Schugel did a great job of helping to save the bullpen by allowing Clint Hurdle to only have to use two relievers after Jon Niese could only pitch five innings.

Catcher Francisco Cervelli –  The Pittsburgh Pirates only recorded three hits on Tuesday night, and Francisco Cervelli was the only hitter not named Sean Rodriguez to record one. Yay base hits! 


Pitcher Jon Niese – Left-handed starting pitcher Jon Niese was, well, awful yet again for the Pirates. Niese pitched five innings allowing six runs on nine hits, five walks, he hit a batter, and he threw a wild pitch. This poor outing raised Niese’s FIP to an ugly 5.74 on the season, and his ERA to an even uglier 5.94. I expected Jon Niese to pitch much better than he has this season, and the Pirates are close to the point where they have to consider what to do with the rotation moving forward.

Third baseman David Freese – The Pirates had a chance in the first inning. Jake Arrieta issued back-to-back walks to John Jaso and Andrew McCutchen to start the game, but David Freese struck out swinging on a pitch well inside to quickly begin to spoil any chance the Pirates had of scoring in the first inning. Obviously Matt Joyce and Francisco Cervelli did not help matters, but Freese striking out on a pitch that would have been a ball to push the count in his at bat full was the beginning of the end for the bottom of the first inning. Freese finished the game 0-4.

Pitcher Jared Hughes – In his second appearance of the season after coming off the disabled list, Jared Hughes really struggle. The ground ball expert gave up a run on two hits and a wild pitch in one inning pitched. Furthermore, Hughes failed to record any outs via the ground ball which is never a good sign with him. When Hughes is at his best and most effective it is when his sinker is falling off the table and being beaten into the ground, not hit into the air.

That will do it for the disaster that took place at PNC Park on Monday night. Time for the Pirates to put it behind them, move on, and to attempt to salvage a game in this series against Jon Lester tomorrow afternoon.