Jerad Eickhoff made his Pittsburgh Pirates debut on Wednesday evening at PNC Park, and his start could not have possibly gone any worse. The newly acquired right-hander was crushed in his introduction to the Bucs and their fans on the mound, as the Chicago Cubs cruised to a 14-5 victory.
Eickhoff gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings on the mound, becoming the first pitcher to allow 10 earned runs in consecutive starts since Chubby Dean in 1940. Ouch.
His mount opponent, Keegan Thompson, was solid for Chicago, giving up one run on four hits in six innings, collecting his seventh victory of the season.
The Cubs used a seven-run second inning to put this game away early. In a 1-0 game with the bases loaded, Rafael doubled home two runs and Patrick Wisdom singled home another pair, making it 5-0. A two-run homerun by Ian Happ capped off the inning, giving Chicago a commanding 7-0 advantage.
Pittsburgh got on the board in the bottom of the second on a solo homerun by Diego Castillo, his fifth long ball of the year.
Wisdom’s two run homerun in the fourth made it 9-1 Chicago, and a sacrifice fly by Nico Hoerner made it 10-1.
The ninth inning saw quite a few runs cross the plate for both teams. Rivas hammered a grand slam in the top of the inning to make it 14-1, and Pittsburgh scored four runs of their own in the bottom half to make the score a little less embarrassing. Oneil Cruz reached on a fielder’s choice and a fielding error, allowing Castillo to score. Bligh Madris doubled home three runs to make it 14-5, which would be the final.
All three of this series’ games thus far have been blowouts by one team or the other. Despite the bad loss on Wednesday, the Bucs still have an opportunity to win this series by taking the finale on Thursday afternoon at PNC Park. Justin Steele will take the mound for the Cubs against Jose Quintana for Pittsburgh.
Record vs. Cubs: 7-5
Record vs. N.L. Central: 12-23
Record at Home: 16-20
Overall Record: 28-40
Let’s Go Bucs!