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Pirates Struggles Continue In Series Opening Loss To Cubs

Rain may have delayed the start to tonight’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs, but once it started it was more the same for Pittsburgh.  An early lead evaporated, a strong start wasted, lack of offense, and a bullpen that seems to have a new member struggle nightly.  After nine innings it would be Chicago coming away with a 7-2 victory.

The Cubs jumped out a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run to right.  The Pirates quickly got the lead in the bottom of the inning when the recently called up Nick Gonzales drove in two runs on a single to center.  Unfortunately, those would be the only two Pittsburgh runs of the game.

Bellinger would tie the game in the fifth on a double to right.  It looked like Nico Horner would be out at home on a perfect relay, but Pirates catcher Yasmani Grandal could not keep the ball in his glove after applying the tag.  Chicago would take the lead for good in the sixth when Michael Busch scored off a Miguel Amaya single to right center.

The Cubs blew this game wide open with a four run seventh inning.  Christoper Morel plated a pair with a single to right center.  Ian Happ picked up an RBI with a double to right and then came around to score with Busch when Nick Madrigal singled to right center.

Jared Jones threw six innings for the Pirates and allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.  While he would get the loss, Hunter Stratton would allow four runs on four hits with a strikeout and a walk in just an inning.  Josh Fleming gave up three hits in the eighth and Roansy Contreras worked a clean ninth.

Chicago would send Javier Assad to the bump to start and he would work 4.1 innings.  During that time, he allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.  Ben Brown would collect the win after pitching 3.2 innings. Brown struck out six and gave up just two hits.  Adbert Alzolay worked the ninth and gave up one hit to go with two strikeouts.

Even though we are not at the middle of May yet, this team needs to make changes to its line up quickly if it hopes to be playing meaningful baseball later in the year.  Tomorrow is the big day where Pittsburgh’s number one prospect Paul Skenes is slated to make his Major League debut.  First pitch is scheduled for 4:05pm.

Record vs. Cubs:  0-1

Record vs. N. L. Central:  2-3

Record at Home:  8-11

Overall Record:  17-22


As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.