Due to a scheduling quirk the Pittsburgh Pirates met their long-time central division rivals, the Chicago Cubs, for the first time in 2023 on Tuesday night. The game was delayed for 70 minutes due to rain, which kept coming down throughout, and Chicago would play better between the raindrops with an 11-3 series opening victory.
Jack Suwinski put Pittsburgh ahead in the top of the first with a solo home run to center. The Cubs answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the winning when Ian Happ went yard. The Pirates cut into that lead in the second when Ji Hwan Bae singled home Josh Palacios. Suwinskicrushed his second homer of the night in the sixth to tie the game.
In the bottom of the sixth Chicago began to put this game away for good. Matt Mervis hit an RBI single to right center to put his team up by one. Happ would be hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for the first of a four run seventh. Another run scored on a single by Dansby Swanson. The final two runs of the inning came in when Yan Gomes singled. The final runs of the night came in the eighth on a three-run dinger by Christopher Morel.
Luis Ortiz worked 5.1 innings and settled in after a rough first. He allowed four runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Dauri Moreta collected two outs and allowed two hits while finishing off the sixth inning. Yohan Ramirez was the victim of bad luck in allowing four runs on three hits with a walk in over just .1 inning for work. The final 1.2 innings belonged to Rob Zastryzny and he would allow three runs on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
The Cubs sent Jameson Taillon to the bump and he pitched six innings. He would give up thre runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Julian Merryweather struck out two and allowed a hit during his time on the mound in the seventh. The eighth belonged to Mark Leiter Jr. and he would strikeout two and walk one. Anthony Kay came on in the ninth and collected the final three outs.
This was not the way we wanted to see Pittsburgh start this series and road trip. Now we will see how well this team is able to bounce back from a tough loss. The Pirates will have recent call up Osvaldo Bido on the bump to take on Chicago starter Drew Smyly. First pitch is slated for 8:05pm.
Record vs. Cubs: 0-1
Record vs. N.L. Central: 10-5
Record on the Road: 16-15
Overall Record: 34-31
Let’s Go Bucs!