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Pirates Attempt Late Comeback; Fall In Series Opener

The Pirates were able to get a few hits against the Chicago Cubs, however they couldn’t get on the board. Yu Darvish silenced their bats for the majority of the evening.

The Bucs couldn’t stop allowing runners to reach, and with starter Trevor Williams only throwing 4.2 innings, things got worse. Williams struggled, even though he struck out six. He gave up three runs and walked three. In the bottom of the 4th, Jason Kipnis went deep off of Williams.

The bullpen was unsuccessful at keeping Pittsburgh in the game, when Nik Turley came in for Williams late in the 5th. He walked two and gave up another run, widening the Cubs lead 4-0. Pittsburgh walked five batters in just five innings.

The Pirates’ hitters couldn’t find their rhythm at the plate, and struck out seven times in a span of six innings. Pittsburgh got two early hits thanks to Colin Moran, who continued his hot streak, and Cole Tucker. Adam Frazier also worked a walk.

Geoff Hartlieb couldn’t stop the Cubs’ hitters in the bottom of the 7th, and gave up a one out double to Wilson Contreras. He was pulled for Miguel Del Pozo, was able to strand Contreras.

Gregory Polanco notched his first base hit of the year with a double too. Polanco’s leadoff double in the 8th was the Bucs’ first extra base hit since Tuesday. Jarrod Dyson got the ball through the gap to score Polanco with two outs. The Bucs finally tallied a run, again their first since Tuesday.

Unfortunately, with two runners on, Kevin Newman popped out to end the Bucs’ half of the inning. Situational hitting is one of the many problems the Pirates have been plagued by in this short season. Although, they were able to score a run, they couldn’t do more damage. 

The Pirates need to start using their at-bats wisely. With the future of the season on a tightrope, the Bucs cannot afford to blow opportunities like that. Especially if the season does in fact continue. 

Del Pozo’s night was over after he gave up two no out base hits. Derek Shelton called on Dovydas Neverauskas to get out of the jam. But the pitching change proved ineffective as Kris Bryant hit a bases loaded single with no one out. To date, Bryant has been deplorable as the Cubs’ leadoff man.

The bleeding didn’t stop for the Bucs when Anthony Rizzo laced a two run base hit into center, giving the Cubs a 6-1 lead.

Josh Bell opened the top of the 9th with a bomb to right field off of Craig Kimbrel. This was Bell’s first homer of the year. Moran followed up with a home run of his own right after.

It was too little too late for the Pirates as they lost the first game of three in Chicago. The Cubs have an eight game winning streak against Pittsburgh dating back to last year. Pittsburgh looks to even the series up tomorrow night.

Check out my series preview to see who I think will win!

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