I guess it is never too late to play exciting baseball and that is exactly what the Pittsburgh Pirates did tonight. After a so-so night by starter Steven Brault, the Pittsburgh bullpen and offense battled back to pick up a 4-3 victory. Anytime the Pirates can send the Chicago Cubs away with a defeat is good news to me.
Brault got the start tonight in place of Ivan Nova and had his work cut out for him. He would last five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits with two walks. Though the final stat line isn’t terrible, he was walking the tightrope quite a bit during that time. Brault had a great year in Indianapolis and will hopefully get a couple more starts at the Major League level this year.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, the Buccos would collect two runs on a Jordan Luplow two run home run to deep left center. That lead would disappear one inning later when Ian Happ plated two with a single to shallow right center. Thanks to a solid night from the bullpen, those would be the final Chicago runs of the night.
Wade LeBlanc pitched three solid innings out of the pen tonight. During that time, he would strike out one batter and not allow a single base runner. Pitching like that would set the tone for the bottom of the eighth. The Pirates would tie the game on a Max Moroff bloop RBI single to left center field. Moroff would then come around to score on a David Freese single to center. Up by a run, Felipe Rivero would earn his 18th save of the season by striking out two and inducing a ground out to third for the final out.
While this season is in the books for the Buccos, it is nice to see these young guys contributing late in the season. It may not mean anything for the future, but it does keep a glimmer of hope alive for us fans. Game three of this four game series will take place tomorrow night with Gerrit Cole taking the mound to square off against Jose Quintana. First pitch is set for 7:05pm.
Record vs. Cubs: 9-8
Record vs. N.L. Central: 29-30
Record at Home: 39-32
Overall Record: 67-72
Let’s Go Bucs!