After losing the first two games of the three-game series, the Pittsburgh Pirates salvaged game three with a 6-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs
Thursday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates took on the Chicago Cubs in the final game of a three-game series in Pittsburgh and avoided the sweep as the Bucs won 6-2. As a result of the victory, the Pirates now have a record of 11-24 this season.
Now, let’s dive into analyzing the game.
A Slow Start
After a 1-2-3 1st inning, Pirate starter JT Brubaker ran into some trouble in the top of the 2nd. Kyle Schwarber singled to left field and was eventually singled home by designated hitter Victor Caratini.
In the top of the 3rd, Cubs’ second baseman Jason Kipnis reached via an infield single and was followed by a Ian Happ double to left. Following Happ’s double, Kris Bryant grounded to third and reached as third baseman J.T. Riddle threw the ball away allowing Kipnis to score and Happ to advance to third.
Anthony Rizzo then grounded out to third, keeping Happ there but moving Bryant to second. With runners at second and third with only one out, the rookie Brubaker did a great job to strand the two runners by striking out Javier Báez and Schwarber to keep the Cubs lead at two.
In the bottom half of the 3rd inning, catcher John Ryan Murphy led off with a double to center and Cole Tucker moved him to third via an infield single to second. Erik González then lined out to center and Happ made a spectacular play to rob the Pirates’ shortstop.
Despite not collecting the hit, González got the Pittsburgh Pirates on the board and brought the team within one. Colin Moran then flew out to right but Bryan Reynolds, who made his return from the Paternity List after the birth of his newborn son Reese, launched his third home run of the year, a 3-run blast over the Clemente Wall. This gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a lead they would not relinquish.
Another Strong Start From Brubaker
In his second straight start of 5 innings, Brubaker was solid again this afternoon and earned his first career MLB victory. He allowed just a pair of runs (one earned) while striking out five and walking only one. After this strong start, Brubaker has compiled an ERA of 3.96 through his first 25 MLB innings and has solidified himself within the Pirates rotation.
Following Brubaker’s strong start, the bullpen did not let up as the Cubs’ 2 early runs would be the only runs allowed by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon. After five innings and 86 pitches, the Pirate bullpen took over and did not disappoint.
LHP Sam Howard ran into a bit of a scare in the 6th inning after allowing two hits but with two outs RHP Geoff Hartlieb was called upon and got Cameron Maybin to fly out to left. Hartlieb stayed in the game and pitched the 7th before lefty Nik Turley got the call to throw the 8th. RHP Richard Rodríguez has been the go-to man in the 9th inning while Keone Kela remains out with a forearm injury and he picked up three strikeouts in the 9th to give the Bucs the afternoon victory.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will take on the Cincinnati Reds (16-21) in a double header on Friday. The first game starting at 4:05 PM EST. Pirates LHP Steven Brault (4.00 ERA) will battle RHP Luis Castillo (4.10 ERA) in Game 1 as the Bucs will look to build off of today’s win.