The Pittsburgh Pirates were back at PNC Park Tuesday night to begin a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Pittsburgh has been in a slump as of late losing six of their last seven games, including three straight losses to the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates dropped their fourth straight game, after blowing a three-run lead, with a 4-3 loss.
Pittsburgh jumped out to an early two run lead in the first inning. They got some help on a passed ball that allowed Adam Frazier to score from third. Ben Gamel would then cross the plate on a Jacob Stallings single to left center. That lead would increase to three in the second when Gamel hit an RBI single to center, which brought home Will Craig. All of these runs would be given up by Jake Arrieta.
Cody Ponce made the start for the Pirates and had a pair of home runs come back to bite him. Ponce would pitch five innings allowing four runs on nine hits to go with two strikeouts and one walk. Joc Pederson hit his first home run of the night in the third. His second would tie the game in the fifth, and then Anthony Rizzo would drive in the go ahead run on a single to left center, which happened to be against the shift.
Both bullpens were lights out covering the final four innings. Pittsburgh had five men enter from the pen and they would give up two hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Chicago used four pitchers, and they would allow two hits with two walks and six strikeouts. The Pirates had a shot to tie the game in the ninth when Cole Tucker led the inning off with a double, but was left at third base after advancing on a sac fly.
The month of May is almost complete and I would have to say that Pittsburgh is right where I believed them to be when the season started. Whether it has been injuries, lack of talent, or lack of depth, this team just doesn’t have the pieces to string together a solid win streak. Instead, we are witness to another year of growing pains and the hope that better days are soon ahead.
Record vs. Cubs: 4-6
Record vs. N.L. Central: 7-17
Record at Home: 8-12
Overall Record: 18-29
Let’s Go Bucs!