The Cubs looked to snap an early three-game losing streak against the Pirates at a rainy Wrigley Field Friday night after rain pushed back their typical afternoon start. Instead, the bats went silent again and the home team lost a fourth consecutive game.
Pittsburgh jumped ahead early against starter Drew Smyly in the top of the 2nd inning when light-hitting catcher Roberto Perez yanked a two-run single over third base. The Cubs were able to tie the game in the 3rd when Michael Hermosillo broke an 0-12 skid with a two-run double to left field.
Smyly was victimized by a pair of solo home runs in the middle innings as Michael Chavis got him in the 4th and Perez somehow did the deed in the 5th. The two-run lead felt like 10 with Chicago’s offense going into a late-inning deep freeze yet again.
A couple of late rallies fizzled and the Pirates took the 4-2 victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
They were unable to do anything offensively after the 3rd for the second consecutive night. Not a formula for long-term success.
The Cubs got two men on base with two outs in the 9th inning but Nick Madrigal grounded out to end the threat. It was the second time in three innings that Madrigal stranded two runners.
Stats That Matter
- Smyly wasn’t as good as his first two starts but he wasn’t horrible: 5 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 4 K, and 1 BB.
- Keegan Thompson was outstanding in four scoreless innings of relief.
- Nico Hoerner had three hits of the Cubs seven total on Friday.
- Seiya Suzuki snapped an 0-for-10 streak with a hard-hit single in the 8th.
It goes without saying that struggling this much against a woeful Pirates team is a very bad sign going forward. The Cubs have done very little to make anyone think they will be better than the 75-win projections they got before the season.
Chicago looks to prevent the Pirates from winning the series Saturday at 1:20pm CT. Kyle Hendricks will need to step up his game against Pittsburgh righty Zach Thompson in a game available on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.