Chicago Cubs 8, Pittsburgh Pirates 2: Stars And Stiffs


On Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field the Chicago Cubs continued their dominance of the Pittsburgh Pirates by defeating the Bucs 8-2.

The Pittsburgh Pirates struggles with the Chicago Cubs finished on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field as the Bucs fell to the best team in baseball by a score of 8-2. The Pirates are now 0-5 against the Cubs on the season, and 18-12 against everyone else. Man, screw the Cubs. Anyway, here are the three stars and three stiffs from Saturday afternoon’s loss.


Center fielder Andrew McCutchen – On Saturday afternoon Andrew McCutchen continued to swing a hot bat by extending his hitting streak to eight games. McCutchen had a great ten pitch at bat against Jake Arrieta to lead off the top of the fourth inning, and it ended with Cutch doubling into the left-center field gap.

McCutchen would then move up to third base on a single by Gregory Polanco, and came around to score on a Francisco Cervelli single. There were not many positives on Saturday afternoon, but Andrew McCutchen staying hot was one. Even if it was the only one.

Catcher Francisco Cervelli – Francisco Cervelli collected both Pirate RBIs in Saturday’s loss to the Cubs. Cervelli came to the plate in the top of the fourth with runners on second and third with one out, and he ripped a Jake Arreita slider into center field to plate a pair of runs. Francisco Cervelli is continuing to prove that his great offensive season in 2015 was no fluke. 

More from Rum Bunter

Right field Gregory Polanco – The Pittsburgh Pirates collected just three hits on Saturday afternoon, and Gregory Polanco had one of them. After Andrew McCutchen doubled to lead off the fourth inning, Polanco singled to move McCutchen to third base. Polanco would then steal second base before coming around to score on the two-run single of Francisco Cervelli.

The Pittsburgh Pirates offense did not accomplish much at all at the plate against Jake Arrieta on Saturday afternoon, but in the top of the fourth inning Gregory Polanco was able to collect one of the three Pirate hits.


Starting pitcher Jeff Locke – Jeff Locke started out strong on Saturday afternoon by putting up three zeroes to start the day. The Pittsburgh Pirates would even give Locke a 2-0 lead to work with through three and a half innings. However, in the fourth inning the wheels came off for the Pirate left-handed starter.

Locke allowed an infield hit to Jason Heyward to start the bottom of the fourth inning. After this, he walked Kris Bryant and then Anthony Rizzo blasted a three-run home run to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead they would never relinquish.

In the end Locke pitched 5 1/3 innings allowing six runs on six hits, two home runs, two walks, and just three strike outs. With his poor performance on Saturday afternoon, Locke saw a string of three consecutive strong starts come to an end. The calls, and need, for Jameson Taillon just keep on growing seemingly each time Jeff Locke, Jon Niese, or Juan Nicasio take the hill.

Left fielder Starling Marte – A strong argument can be made that Starling Marte has been the Pirates best player so far in 2016, but Saturday afternoon was not a good day for Marte. He went 0-for-4 with a trio of strikeouts at the plate on Saturday afternoon. One of these strike outs came in the top of the fourth inning when the Pirates had runners on second and third with no one out. Saturday afternoon was one of the worst games Starling Marte has played this season.

Relief pitcher A.J. Schugel – For the majority of the first 35 games of the season A.J. Schugel has looked like a diamond in the rough finding by Neal Huntington, but today was not one of those days. Schugel pitched two innings, and allowed two runs on four hits and a walk.

Despite an ugly ERA (4.96) due to two poor performances, Schugel’s overall numbers are still strong. In 16 1/3 innings pitched this season Schugel has a 3.32 FIP, 3.55 xFIP, he is averaging 2.20 BB/9, and is striking out 9.37 K/9. Hopefully when Cory Luebke returns from the disabled list this week, Arquimedes Caminero is shown the door over Schugel.

Okay, that does it for today. Playing the Cubs sucks, but the Pirates start a ten game home stand on Monday against three awful teams in Atlanta, Colorado, and Arizona. So pray for a win tomorrow, and then time to start making hay.