College football season will be in full swing this weekend, and not a moment too soon. It will give those of us who follow the Pittsburgh Pirates a chance to hit the reset button and follow our teams in the hopes of a championship. I say this because in Pittsburgh baseball season is over. If you weren’t sure before tonight, then the 17-3 beatdown by the Chicago Cubs had to be the assurance you were looking for.
Ivan Nova would last only three innings tonight and in that time, he would allow five runs, four earned, on five hits, to go with five strikeouts and one walk. Nova has hit a wall and we see why the New York Yankees were willing to trade him last year. Steven Brault, who has been great in AAA this year, lasted only one inning in relief and gave up four runs on four hits in the process.
The bullpen woes continued in the fifth when A.J. Schugel gave up three runs on three hits, which was followed up by Angel Sanchez giving up three runs on four hits during two innings. Felipe Rivero would have his worst outing in a Pirates uniform in the eighth when he gave up two runs on four hits and only collected two outs.
The Bucco offense did make a few appearances tonight and the team had the lead in the first inning. David Freese would hit a RBI single and that was followed up by Jordy Mercer being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Josh Bell would hit a solo home run to deep left field in the sixth, but Pittsburgh was already down nine runs at that point.
The Pirates will have an off day tomorrow, so we can all be spared from another blowout. They will return home Friday night to begin a seven-game home stand. The first three of those games will be against the Cincinnati Reds. Game one will feature Gerrit Cole taking on Luis Castillo. First pitch is set for 7:05pm.
Record vs. Cubs: 7-8
Record vs. N.L. Central: 25-29
Record on the Road: 28-40
Overall Record: 63-71
Let’s Go Bucs!