The now 80-76 Pittsburgh Pirates are one win shy of clinching a winning record
After a 55-minute rain delay postponed the start of Tuesday night’s game at Wrigley Field, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs were ready to play baseball. When play began, it was the Pirates that came out on top by a score of 6-0.
Following their 6-0 victory over the Cubs, the Pirates have now consecutive games over the Cubs, are now 9-3 in their last 12 games, and 80-76 overall. This win also puts the team just one win away from clinching their fourth winning record in the last six seasons. The Bucs have now won four in a row against the Cubs, and 9 of the 17 games played between the two clubs this season.
It did not take the Pirates long to start scoring on Tuesday night at Wrigley.
With one out in the top of the 2nd inning Corey Dickerson doubled and Jose Osuna walked to set the table for Pablo Reyes. The Pirates’ new super utility man continued his red hot September by launching a three-run home run to left field to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
This was the third home run of September for Reyes, and second in as many nights. With his strong play this month, Reyes has put a big time down payment on an Opening Day roster spot in 2019.
Leading off the top of the 5th inning Adam Frazier hit his 22nd double of the season. This hit chased Chicago starter Mike Montgomery from the game. After Frazier advanced to third on a fly out and Josh Bell drew a walk, Frazier would score when Cervelli reached on a fielder’s choice.
Cervelli’s third RBI of the night made the score 5-0 Pirates and closed the book on Montgomery. In 4+ innings pitched Montogomery allowed five runs on six hits, a walk, and the Reyes home run. This start came after Montogomery had been masterful in previous starts against the Pirates this season.
Chris Archer started for the Pirates on Tuesday night and was excellent. After turning in his best start as a Pirate in his previous outing, Archer turned in another strong start at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
Archer’s night included his second hit as a Pirate. This hit came in the top of the 6th inning and helped the Pirate offense push their sixth run across the plate.
On the mound, Archer fired a first pitch strike to 19 of the 25 batters he faced in 6 shutout innings of work. He allowed four hits, he walked a pair, hit a batter, and struck out nine. His nine strikeouts are the most in any start as a Pirate this season.
After Archer’s night ended, Dovydas Neverauskas took over on the mound for the Pirates. In his first 21 outings this season Neverauskas had pitched just three 1-2-3 innings. After pitching fourth 1-2-3 innings of the season in the bottom of the 7th inning, he returned to the mound in the bottom of the 8th.
Neverauskas fired another scoreless inning in the bottom of the 8th, before passing the torch to Steven Brault in the bottom of the 9th inning. Brault fired a quick 1-2-3 inning to finish off the Cubs and seal the Pirate victory.
Not only did the Pirate victory on Tuesday night pull the team to one win away from clinching a winning season, but, due to a Milwaukee Brewers victory, it also caused the Cubs’ lead in the NL Central Division to shrink to just half a game. Helping the cost the Cubs a divisional crown would be a nice final chapter in what has been a successful season for the 2018 edition of the Pittsburgh Baseball Club.
The third game of this four-game series is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. on Wednesday night. Ivan Nova (4.01 ERA, 4.52 FIP) will make his final start of the season for the Pirates, while Joe Maddon and the Cubs will turn to lefty Jose Quintana (4.11 ERA, 4.44 FIP).