The Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs were back in action Tuesday night at Wrigley Field and it felt familiar to game one of this three game series. Chicago would use a five run fourth inning to put the game away, and go on to win by the final of 7-0. This marks the second straight game that Pittsburgh has been shutout, and they have only managed one run in their past three games.
The Cubs first run of the night came in the third inning on a Jonathan Villar solo home run. Seiya Suzuki got things started in the fourth with a two run double to left center. Suzuki then came in to score on a ground rule double by Frank Schwindel. Villar then brought home Alfonso Rivas later in the inning with an infield single. A ground out by Ildemaro Vargas plated Schwindel to close out the scoring for Chicago in the inning.
JT Brubaker allowed six runs, four earned, over 5.2 innings on the mound tonight to go with six hits. He did manage to strike out ten and walk three batters. Anthony Banda came in to collect the final out of the sixth, with Chase De Jong going the final two innings. He would allow one run, a solo homer by Christopher Morel in the eighth, while striking out two and walking one.
Cubs starter Keegan Thompson picked up his third win of the year by pitching five innings, giving up four hits and striking out five batters. Chicago would use three relief pitchers, Daniel Norris, Brandon Hughes, and Mark Leiter Jr., to cover the final four innings. Hughes would strikeout five batters during his 1.2 innings of work.
The Pirates offense was held to just five hits tonight, with five batters collecting one hit a piece. The highlight of those hits was Daniel Vogelbach collecting the first triple of his career. There was a slew of defensive mishaps tonight, with two of them being ruled as errors. One by Michael Perez and the other from Rodolfo Castro. The Castro error would aid the five run fourth inning.
While the pitching hasn’t been very good these past two nights, allowing a combined sixteen runs, it doesn’t matter when the offense is held scoreless with a total of eight hits in those two games. Pittsburgh just seems to be in a tailspin right now with no answers in sight. Maybe a change on the bench could light a spark under these guys. The Pirates will try to avoid being swept in the series when they play the finale Wednesday night.
Record vs. Cubs: 4-4
Record vs. N.L. Central: 8-16
Record on the Road: 6-11
Overall Record: 15-21
Let’s Go Bucs!