Pittsburgh Pirates Lose to Cubs to Split Four-Game Series
The Pittsburgh Pirates finished off their seven game home stand with a loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night
On Thursday night the Chicago Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 8-2. With the loss, the Pirates finished their seven game home stand with a 4-3 record. Also, they will finish the season with a 9-10 record against the Cubs.
The Pittsburgh Pirates now find themselves with an overall record of 68-74 this season. Splitting this series is frustrating as the Pirates easily could have won on Wednesday night and wasted a great start from Gerrit Cole in a losing effort. Also, on Thursday night, the Pirates flooded the bases with runners against Cubs’ starter Jon Lester but failed to take advantage.
In the top of the 1st inning the Chicago Cubs quickly took a lead. Ian Happ singled off of Jameson Taillon to start the game and then Kris Bryant doubled. This put runners on second and third with no one out. Anthony Rizzo then hit a sacrifice fly to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates would threaten in the bottom of the 1st inning but failed to score. With one out Max Moroff singled and Andrew McCutchen walked. However, Jon Lester then recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Josh Bell and Jordan Luplow to end the inning.
More from Rum Bunter
- Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Stockwatch: Outfielder Tres Gonzalez
- Pittsburgh Pirates Podcast: Rum Bunter Radio Talks Winter Meetings Fallout
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Potential Leadoff Hitters in 2023
- Pittsburgh Pirates: The Rotation is not being Improved
- Pittsburgh Pirates Make Vince Velasquez Signing Official
Javier Baez doubled to start the top of the 2nd inning. After moving to third base on a Jason Heyward ground out, he would score on a Rene Rivera ground out. This made the score 2-0 Cubs heading to the bottom of the 2nd inning.
In the bottom of the second inning the Pittsburgh Pirates pulled off a tough feat. They sent five batters to the plate. Those five batters included a walk, a double, and single. However, they failed to score.
Sean Rodriguez walked to start the inning but was quickly erased when Elias Diaz hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Jordy Mercer then hit a two-out double that was followed by a Jameson Taillon single. However, catcher Rene Rivera made a great diving play after an Ian Happ throw to retire Mercer at the plate to end the inning.
In the top of the 3rd inning the Chicago lead continued to grow.
Ian Happ doubled to start the inning and with one out Anthony Rizzo drove him home with a single. This made the score 3-0 Cubs.
Starling Marte and Max Moroff drew back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the 3rd inning. Then with one out, a Josh Bell ground out brought home Marte to cut the Cubs lead to 3-1 after 3 innings.
In the top of the 4th inning the Cubs continued to crush Jameson Taillon. Jason Heyward and Rene Rivera hit back-to-back singles with one out. Then, Jon Lester doubled home Heyward to make the score 4-1 Cubs. Taillon would then retire the next two batters to end the inning.
Frustration continued to mount for the Pirates in the bottom of the 4th inning. To start the inning Sean Rodriguez hit a sinking line drive that looked like it would be a hit before Kyle Schwarber made a fine sliding catch to rob him. Then, Elias Diaz smashed a ball into the Northside Notch that had triple written all over it. Unfortunately, Diaz stumbling rounding second base to be held to a double. Jordy Mercer then hit a deep fly ball to center field that would have scored Diaz had he not stumbled around second.
Jameson Taillon then reached on an infield hit. His second hit of the game put runners on the corners with two outs. Starling Marte then grounded out to end the inning. Through 4 innings Jon Lester had allowed five hits, walked four, uncorked a wild pitch, and thrown 85 pitches. However, the Pirates, somehow, had scored just a single run.
In the top of the 5th inning the Cubs just kept on scoring. A single by Anthony and a double by Ben Zobrist put runners on second and third with no one out. Then a one-out ground out by Javier Baez scored Rizzo to make the score 5-1 Cubs. Jason Heyward then doubled in Zobrist to make it 6-1.
The Heyward double brought Taillon’s night to an end. In 4 2/3 innings pitched he allowed six runs on 11 hits, a walk, and three strikeouts. This started continued what has been an incredibly feast or famine eight start stretch for Taillon. He has allowed two runs or less in four of these starts while allowing foru runs or more in the other four.
Angel Sanchez came in for Taillon and would retire Rene Rivera to end the top of the 5th inning. Sanchez was also called upon by Clint Hurdle to pitch the top of the 6th inning. Sanchez pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 6th inning, while also recording a pair of strikeouts.
Angel Sanchez also pitched the top of the 7th inning, however, things did not go as well. With one out Albert Almroa Jr. launched a two-run home run. This made the score 8-1 Cubs.
After Joaquin Benoit pitched a scoreless top half of the inning, the Pirates would score a run in the bottom of the 8th inning when a one-out double by Jordan Luplow scored Andrew McCutchen. This cut the Chicago lead to 8-2 after 8 innings of play.
After a scoreless top of the 9th inning from Dovydas Neverauskas, the Pirates took their last hacks in the inning’s bottom half. With one out in the inning Chris Bostick doubled for his first career hit. However, the Pirates went down without scoring to set the final at 8-2.
Next: An Emerging Relief Prospect
At 8:15 tomorrow night the Pittsburgh Pirates start a three-game series at Busch Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals. Trevor Williams is scheduled to start for the Pirates, while the Cardinals plan to hand the ball to rookie Luke Weaver.