Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Chicago Cubs 4: Stars And Stiffs

Sep 28, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

On Wednesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped their four game losing streak by defeating the Chicago Cubs in game three of their four game series.

On Wednesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 4-14 on the year against the Chicago Cubs. Yes, 4-14. Also, with the win the Pirates improved to 78-80 on the season. Due to this victory finishing above .500 this season is still a possibility.

The Pittsburgh Pirates got a strong start from Jameson Taillon and the offense scored early and often. The Pirates were also able to beat up on arch nemesis Jake Arrieta for a third consecutive start. Here are the Pittsburgh Pirates’ three stars and stiffs from Wednesday night.


Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon – Wednesday night was the final start of a fantastic rookie season for Jameson Taillon. And like most of his first 17 career starts, Taillon was excellent on Wednesday night.

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In six innings pitched on Wednesday night Taillon allowed just one hit. The lone hit he allowed was a solo home run to Anthony Rizzo in the top of the first inning. Additionally, Taillon walked three batters and struck out four.

Taillon will finish his rookie campaign with 104 innings pitched. In these 104 innings pitched he averaged 7.36 K/9, 1.47 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9, and he had a 1.12 WHIP. Due to these results Taillon finished the season with a 3.38 ERA, 3.71 FIP, and a 3.44 xFIP.

This season Jameson Taillon threw a great curveball and a plus fastball. Furthermore, after missing the past two seasons due to injury it was great to see Taillon pitched a combined 165 1/3 innings between Triple-A and the Major Leagues this season. I look for Taillon to become one of the best starting pitchers in the National League, and fast, beginning next season.

First baseman John Jaso – On Wednesday night John Jaso did something no Pirate had done since 2004. What is that you ask? He hit for the cycle.

No Pirates’ hitter had hit for the cycle since Daryle Ward against the St. Louis Cardinals. Well, that changed on Wednesday night. Furthermore, Jaso became the first player to ever hit for the cycle at PNC Park.

Jaso finished the night 4-for-4. Obviously, this included a double, triple, and a home run. Jaso would finish the night with five runs batted in and two runs scored. John Jaso is now in rarefied air as he has caught a perfect game as well as having hit for the cycle. Jaso is just the second man in Major League history to achieve that feat.

Very quietly, John Jaso has had a nice 2016 campaign with a .348 on-base percentage, .331 wOBA, and a 108 wRC+. It has been capped off with a very strong final two months. Jaso will play a key role on what should be a very strong Pirates’ bench in 2017.

Shortstop Sean Rodriguez – Prior to the start of Wednesday’s game Clint Hurdle announced that Jordy Mercer will not play again this season. Due to this, Sean Rodriguez got the start at shortstop in this game. And Rodriguez had a strong game at the plate.

Sean Rodriguez finished the game 2-for-3 with a double, he was hit by a pitch, and three runs scored. Because of this Rodriguez now owns a .368 wOBA and a 133 wRC+ this season. Due to the strong season that Rodriguez has had, I expect him to be paid handsomely this offseason.


Relief pitcher Jared Hughes – Jared Hughes has been terrible in 2016. Hopefully, this leads to the Pittsburgh Pirates non-tendering Hughes this offseason. Because in no world should he be part of the Pirates’ bullpen in 2017.

Jared Hughes took over on the mound in the top of the seventh inning. At the time the Pirates led the game 7-1. However, this lead would quickly shrink.

Jared Hughes would last just 1/3 of an inning. In this one third of an inning he put three men on base, and all three would come around to score. Even though, in his defense, a David Freese error did not help matters.

This season Jared Hughes now owns a 4.81 ERA and a 4.90 xFIP in 58 1/3 innings pitched. Both of these numbers are career worsts. As is his 4.78 K/9, 0.93 HR/9, and 57.9 percent ground ball rate. As I said above, hopefully, the Pirates non-tender Hughes this offseason making him a free agent.

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen – The Pittsburgh Pirates’ center fielder has had a strong two month finish to his 2016 season. However, Wednesday night was not a good night at the plate for Andrew McCutchen.

Andrew McCutchen finished Wednesday night’s game 0-for-5 at the plate. This included McCutchen leaving two runners on base. I look for McCutchen to have a bounce back performance on Thursday night.

Next: Pirates Set Rotation For St. Louis

Only two stiffs tonight, yay!

That will do it for tonight. Tomorrow night the Pirates will look to split their four game series with the Chicago Cubs. First pitch is slated for 7:05 when the Pirates send Ivan Nova to the mound and the Cubs will counter with Rob Zastryzny.