Pittsburgh Pirates Fall To The Cubs And Suffer A Series Sweep
By Josh Mavilla
The Pittsburgh Pirates fell to the Chicago Cubs by the score of 8-3 on Sunday. They suffer a 3-game series sweep at the hands of their division rivals coming out of the All-Star break.
Trevor Williams struggled mightily as he surrenders 3 home runs to Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber. He finished his outing giving up 8 ER on 11 hits while also issuing 3 walks. After todays horrendous start by Williams, he owns a boisterous 5.17 ERA.
The Cubs were consistently making hard contact and driving the ball all over the yard. Walks have been the Pirates problem as of late. Their starters are allowing free baserunners at a ridiculous rate, which is leading to self-inflicted damage that is losing them ballgames. Things need to change one way or another when it comes to the starting rotation. Chris Archer, Jordan Lyles, and Williams all own an ERA north of 5.00. Starters have been putting the club in a bad position with all of the crooked numbers being surrendered.
The Bucco offense went a bit cold in this series against the Cubs. They recorded 9 hits despite only scoring 3 runs off of Jose Quintana. Both Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds notched 2 hits in the contest. The All-Star Break may have cooled the Pirates bats off coming out of the gate, but the pitching hasn’t helped at all.
There needs to be a shuffle in the rotation or the coaching staff. Chris Archer and Joe Musgrove are mainstays, but with Lyles and Williams showing weakness, they may need to be replaced. Dario Agrazal has been a delight in his few starts this season and Mitch Keller has been tearing it up in AAA. It may be time to let Keller work it out at the major league level. If nothing else, Ray Searage needs to be on the hot seat. He hasn’t been terrible while with the Pirates, but his philosophy has been proven to be outdated.
The Pirates will start a 3-game series on Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals. They are currently ahead of the Bucs in the standings and have a chance to slim the deficit.