Infield defense remains a major issue
In my Pirate season preview, infield defense was pointed out as a potential problem for the Pirates this season. To say that infield defense has been a problem for the team through their first five series would be an understatement.
The Pirates lead the NL in errors early on this season, and have committed at least one error in five consecutive games. Three of the team’s five losses this season, including both in this series, can be attributed largely to poor infield defense.
By now everyone knows what unfolded Monday afternoon. Kevin Newman, who has since been put on the injured list, committed three errors in the bottom of the 2nd inning leading to the Cubs scoring six unearned runs on their way to victory.
In Thursday night’s loss, bad infield defense reared its ugly head again. Joe Musgrove was cruising for the Pirates have pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings. Jason Heyward then popped up a ball that should have been the second out of the 7th inning. Instead, lack of communication between third baseman Jung Ho Kang and shortstop Erik Gonzalez led to Gonzalez running into Kang and jarring the ball out of third baseman’s glove.
This sparked a two-run rally for the Cubs, leading the Cubbies to victory.
Even in Wednesday night’s victory, the infield defense was less than stellar. Starting pitcher Jordan Lyles failed to field a would be double play ball in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Then in the 7th inning, Adam Frazier committed a two-out error that prolonged the Chicago inning.
This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but it is vital that the Pirates fix their defensive woes. If they do not, it will hold the team back throughout the season.