Pittsburgh Pirates Drop Game Two Against the Chicago Cubs


4. Final. 8. 9. 2

Following a loss against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night at PNC Park the Pittsburgh Pirates have suffered yet another series loss

The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to lose baseball games. Following a 8-2 loss against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night, the Pirates have now lost three games in a row and five of their last six. With the loss, the team now owns a 10-24 record this season.

Let’s dive into and analyze the Pirate loss.

Big Joe Pitches Well In His Return

After making just three starts Joe Musgrove was placed on the injured list on August 4th. Wednesday night, Musgrove returned to the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates. While his outing was not a long one, his stuff looked good.

With two runners on base and no one out in the 4th inning, Musgrove was pulled for Nick Tropeano. Prior to being pulled, Musgrove had allowed just three hits, he did not walk a batter, he struck out four, and he had kept the Cubs off the scoreboard. While Musgrove was charged with a pair of runs after Tropeano allowed a 3-run home run, he pitched a strong game.

Due to it being his first start back from the IL, the Pirates were not going to let Musgrove get too deep into his pitch count. The rain delay that pushed back the start of the game did not help, either. Prior to the start of the 4th inning Musgrove had retired nine batters in a row. Based solely on his stuff, Musgrove could have easily gone another 2-3 innings.

Musgrove’s fastball was firm. The pitch averaged 92.7 MPH, and maxed out at 94 MPH. Both his curveball and slider looked filthy, and each generated four whiffs. This gave the curveball a 67% whiff rate and the slider a 50% whiff rate. In the start, Musgrove looked like the pitcher the Pirates expected to get in 2020. Hopefully, this will be the start of a strong month to finish the season for Big Joe.

Red Beard Stays Red Hot

One of the biggest positives for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season has been the breakout season that Colin Moran is putting together. Wednesday night, Captain Red Beard would remain red hot at the plate for the Bucs.

In his first at bat, Moran hit a mammoth home run. The 450 foot moonshot left the ballpark and bounced into the Allegheny River. This added to Moran’s team lead in home runs, bringing his total on the season to 7.

Moran is now 3-for-10 with a double and a home run since returning from the concussion IL. He has also drawn three walks in this time. This has been great to see as you never know how players will bounce back after a concussion. It appears that his concussion did not slow down Moran’s breakout season at all.

A Rough Night For Long Relief

When Derek Shelton went to the bullpen on Wednesday night he first called upon his two long relievers. These two relievers are the aforementioned Tropeano, as well as lefty Derek Holland who was originally scheduled to start this game.

It did not take long for Tropeano’s night to go south. The first batter he faced – Javier Baez – hit a 3-run home run to make it 3-1 Cubs. Following the home run, Tropeano would load the bases before getting out of the jam.

Holland would pitch 3 innings after Tropeano’s night ended. After pitching 2 scoreless innings to start his night, Holland allowed a pair of runs in the 7th inning. This expanded the Chicago lead to 5-1.

Tropeano and Holland combined to pitch 6 innings on Wednesday night, and, unfortunately, things did not go well. They combined to allow 6 runs (4 earned) on seven hits, three walks, a hit batter, and a home run. As we have mentioned, Tropeano also failed to strand inherited runners.

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What’s Next

The third and final game of the series is scheduled for 1:35 on Thursday afternoon. JT Brubaker (4.50 ERA, 4.82 DRA) will make the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Chicago Cubs will send Alec Mills (5.23 ERA, 4.53 DRA) to the mound looking to sweep the Bucs.