The Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs battled in Williamsport, Pennsylvania tonight in what is known as the Little League Classic. This comes in the middle of the Little League World Series which takes place every year.
The Pittsburgh Pirates faltered in game three against the Chicago Cubs. Struggling offense and poor pitching have continued to be a theme in the losses for the Pirates.
Although the game didn’t go the Pirates way, it’s hard to be upset in this kind of atmosphere. Chris Archer, Joe Musgrove, and others had fun talking to and mentoring some of the young stars playing in the LLWS.
As for the game, Mitch Keller took the mount for the Pirates, looking to build off of a strong start in his last outing. It didn’t take long for Chicago to take the league. On a 2-2 count after fouling off a couple pitches, Nick Castellanos roped a home run to left center to make it 1-0 Cubs.
Jason Heyward would add another run on a solo shot to left in the third inning. The Pirates would continue to struggle at the plate, allowing a close game to blow up in the fourth and fifth innings with a two RBI single from Kyle Shcwarber as well as a Kris Bryant RBI double and an Anthony Rizzo two-run home run to left center off Chris Stratton, making the score 7-0.
Keller was responsible for six of those runs in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two. Stratton was charged with one run on the home run, and had three strike outs through 1 1/3 innings. Clay Holmes and Montana DuRapau combined for three scoreless frames and six strikeouts in relief.
Meanwhile the Pirates had runners on in base in 5 of the first 7 innings, failing to capitalize once again with runners in scoring position. They pushed their streak to 0-19 with runners in scoring position. Kevin Newman had two hits and Colin Moran added a double in the seventh inning and an infield single in the ninth.. Starling Marte shined as he stroked three hits including a double and the lone home run for the Pirates in the ninth inning. He also stole his 22nd bag of the season.
The Pirates will be back in action tomorrow night versus the Washington Nationals as they continue their homestand. Trevor Williams (5-5) will take the hill opposing Joe Ross (3-3) at 7:05. They will be looking to work out of a skid where they have been 7-27 since the all star break.