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Pirates Win Wild Game Over Cubs In Skenes Debut

Entering Saturday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, all of the talk was centered around Paul Skenes.  The Bucs’ top prospect was making his MLB debut and all eyes were on the future of the team’s starting rotation.

And Skenes dominated the headlines, after a rain delay and a lot of runs on the board, the Pirates narrowly escaped with a 10-9 victory.

Skenes, MLB”s No. 1 pitching prospect, K’d the first two batters of his first career start and didn’t stop there, showing off electric stuff this afternoon against the Cubs.   Due to some bad luck and not much help from his coaching staff, Paul’s final line doesn’t tell the story of how promising he looked on the mound.  He lasted four innings, giving up three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

But this was a crazy game start to finish.  After a two-hour and 20-minute rein delay, six bases-loaded walks in the top of the fifth, five home runs by the struggling Pirates’ offense, the Bucs held on late for a one-run victory.

The Pirates used a total of seven pitchers on the day, including David Bednar, who, despite giving up another run, did earn his seventh save of the season by inducing a lineout to Cody Bellinger with a runner on third base for the final out of the game.

A three-run homerun by Connor Joe and a solo homerun by Oneil Cruz in the third inning gave the Bucs a 4-0 lead, and one might have thought this could be a comfortable victory for the home team.

After Nico Hoerner got the Bucs on the board with a solo homerun in the top of the fourth, Michael A. Taylor’s first homerun of the season, a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth, increased the lead to 6-1.

Astonishingly, the Pirates allowed the Cubs back in the game with SIX bases-loaded walks in the fifth inning, along with a RBI single by Mike Tauchman, collectively giving Chicago an 8-6 lead.

A three-run homerun by Yasmani Grandal, his first of the season, in the bottom of the fifth gave the Pirates the lead back at 9-8, and a solo homerun by Andrew McCutchen in the sixth made it 10-8.

Tauchman’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth brough the Cubs to within a run, but they couldn’t bring the tying run home, and the Bucs held on for the victory.

This was one of the crazier games a baseball fan will see.  It had a little bit of everything, but for a number of reasons, Skenes’ debut stole the spotlight.  He was as advertised, and we can’t wait to see what he does his next time out on the mound.

The Cubs and Pirates will meet back up at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon for the rubber match of this series.  Kyle Hendricks will be on the bump for Chicago against Bailey Falter for Pittsburgh.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:35pm.

Record vs. Cubs: 1-1

Record vs. N.L. Central: 3-3

Record at Home: 9-11

Overall Record: 18-22


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