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Pirates Bullpen Continues To Perform At High Level

After being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers to begin this seven-game road trip, the Pittsburgh Pirates headed to Wrigley Field on Thursday for a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs.  It was another game where Pittsburgh had a short start from the starter, strong outing from the bullpen, and come from behind runs from the offense to collect a 4-3 victory.

Bryse Wilson did not last long on the mound tonight for the Pirates.  He would go three innings and allow three runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts.  Though it is early in the year, the starting rotation will soon need to work deeper into games so that the bullpen is not overworked early in the season.

A Frank Schwindel walk with the bases loaded gave Chicago a one run lead in the first.  They would collect one more run in the inning when Jonathan Villar hit a sac fly to left.  Their final run of the night came in the second when Patrick Wisdom was able to score on a Seiya Suzuki ground out.

The Pittsburgh offense began their comeback in the third inning.  That is when Daniel Vogelbach hit a two-run home run to deep right center.  The Pirates would plate two more runs in the fifth when Yoshi Tsutsugo doubled to left.

The bullpen was once again the story for Pittsburgh.  Five pitchers would be used to cover the final six innings of work.  Wil Crowe collected the win after pitching 2.1 innings and striking out five batters, while just allowing one hit.  Dillon Peters and Heath Hembree each worked .2 innings and combined for two strikeouts and a walk.  David Bednar struck out two batters over 1.1 innings on the mound.  The save went to Chris Stratton after working a scoreless ninth with a strikeout.

Bryan Reynolds had the highlight of the night when he turned a double into a triple on a softly hit ball down the third base line.  When he got to second and realized that the Cubs had no one covering third because they were in the shift, he simply collected another 90 feet.  Ben Gamel was the only player in the lineup tonight to collect multiple hits, as he went 3-4 on the night.

As is tradition at Wrigley on the weekend, the remaining three games of this series will all be afternoon contests beginning at 2:20pm.  It would be great to see the Pirates pick up a couple more wins and take this series from Chicago, especially after a rough three games in Milwaukee to start this trip.

Record vs. Cubs:  2-1

Record vs. N.L. Central:  3-6

Record on the Road:  2-5

Overall Record:  6-7


As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor