The Pittsburgh Pirates got some payback against the Chicago Cubs this week
Two weekends ago the Pittsburgh Pirates played a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. That weekend in the Windy City the Pirates allowed a single series franchise record 47 runs on their way to being swept. Back home at PNC Park, the Pirates got some retribution this week.
On Tuesday night the Pirates defeated the Cubs to eliminate them from postseason contention. Led by Joe Musgrove, the Pirates defeated the Cubs 9-3 again on Wednesday night to finish off the sweep. With the series sweep, the Pirates ha e improved their season record to 68-91.
It did not take the Pirates long to grab a lead. With two outs in the bottom of the 1st inning and two men on base Pablo Reyes hit a triple into left-center field. Reyes’ 2nd triple of the season gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
Facing the struggling Jose Quintana, the Pirate lead grew to 5-0 in the 3rd inning.
Kevin Newman and Adam Frazier singled to start the inning. With one out, Jose Osuna doubled to score Newman and an error by Robel Garcia allowed Frazier to score as well. After Osuna was thrown out trying to score on a hit by Reyes, Jacob Stallings would single home Reyes to make the score 5-0 Pirates.
Osuna reached on a two-out infield hit in the 5th inning and went to third base on a ground rule double by Reyes. Stallings then hit a ground ball to shortstop that documented terrible human being Addison Russell made a throwing error pulling Victor Caratini off the bag at first, allowing Stallings to reach and Osuna to score. Following the Russell error, Jake Elmore singled to plate Reyes. This made the score 7-0 Pirates.
While Quintana struggled, Musgrove was excellent. Big Joe did not allow a hit until the 5th inning, and posted 5 zeroes to start his night.
In the 6th inning, the Cubs got a base runner on a catcher’s interference and a walk. Happ followed with a 2-run double to cut the Pirate lead to 7-2. After Caratini reached on a broken bat single to shallow right field, a comebacker to the mound led to the Cubs 3rd run of the inning.
Musgrove allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, on just three hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts in 6 innings pitched. A successful 2019 season for Musgrove will finish with a career best 21.9% strikeout rate, and a career high in both starts (31) and innings pitched (170 1/3). He also finished with a WAR above 3 for the first time in his MLB career.
The Pirates would quickly get these runs back.
Chris Stratton took over on the mound for the Pirates in the 7th inning. Stratton allowed a pair of runs, before Parker Markel pitched a scoreless 8th inning. Markel returned to the mound in the 9th inning to slam the door shut on a 9-5 Pirate victory.
At 7:05 on Friday night the Pirates will kick off the final series of their 2019 season when they welcome the Cincinnati Reds to town. Lefty Steven Brault (5.07 ERA, 4.91 FIP) is scheduled to start for the Pirates. Anthony DeSclafani (3.84 ERA, 4.43 FIP) is slated to take the ball for the Reds.