So far in 2022 the Pittsburgh Pirates have used the formula of get down early, bullpen shuts the door, offense comes back late. It has worked quite well as they entered their Saturday afternoon contest with the Chicago Cubs. Pittsburgh looked to take this four-game series after winning games one and two. Chicago had other plans, as it would have taken a high-powered NFL offense to overcome the deficit today.
The Cubs scored early and often, something the Pirates couldn’t manage to do once, on their way to a 21-0 blowout victory. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Chicago outhit Pittsburgh 23-2. Two errors by Kevin Newman did not help starter Zach Thompson. Thompson pitched just two innings, allowing nine runs, four earned, on nine hits with two walks and one strikeout.
The usual steady bullpen was oddly ineffective today. Miguel Yajure pitched 2.1 innings allowing seven runs on seven hits with one walk. He was followed by Aaron Fletcher. Fletcher had the best outing of any Bucco on the bump today, as he would work 2.2 innings give up one run on three hits with two strikeouts. The final inning belonged to Diego Castillo and that went just as ugly as the rest of the day. He would allow four runs on four hits with one walk.
This would be the worst loss in franchise history, coming 12 years and a day after losing by twenty runs to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010. Another crazy stat in all of this is that the Cubs hit only one home run on the day, a three-run shot by Alfonso Rivas in the second inning.
Thankfully, for as bad as this day was for the Pirates it only counts as one loss. As former manager Clint Hurdle use to say, “Shower Well” and get ready for the next game. They will wrap up this seven-game road trip tomorrow afternoon, and hopefully bounce back to pick up a series win over Chicago.
Record vs. Cubs: 3-2
Record vs. N.L. Central: 4-7
Record on the Road: 3-6
Overall Record: 7-8
Let’s Go Bucs!