The Cubs had a chance to bounce back against the Pirates after their five-game winning streak was snapped Sunday afternoon. Chicago built an early lead and again padded it against Pittsburgh’s shaky bullpen to earn the victory.
A pair of singles and a walk by Pirates starter Osvaldo Bido loaded the bases with two outs for Mike Tauchman in the top of the 2nd inning. Tauchman lined a two-run single right up the middle to put the road team ahead. Nico Hoerner followed with his own hit to make it 3-0 Cubs.
Chicago starter Drew Smyly did not have good control Monday but was able to battle through it and go five scoreless innings despite a handful of walks. Bido didn’t allow any more offense the rest of his outing, but that did not remain the case when Pittsburgh went to the bullpen.
Tauchman picked up his third RBI of the game with a single off of Ryan Borucki in the 7th inning and Dansby Swanson knocked in another run on an infield hit against Yohan Ramirez later in the frame. A throwing error on a force out attempt from second baseman Ji Hwan Bae opened the floodgates for three more Cubs tallies in the 8th.
The Pirates loaded the bases against Smyly in both the 3rd inning and the 5th inning and failed to score either time. The Cubs took advantage of their chances with men on base and that made the difference.
Why the Cubs Won
The lineup roared back to life after an off game on Sunday and gave the pitching more than enough support.
Stats That Matter
- It certainly wasn’t a masterpiece for Smyly, but he didn’t give anything up and that’s all you can ask: 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 4 K, and 5 BB.
- Monday was the second three-hit game for Tauchman in the last three and he has been huge the last two weeks.
- Yan Gomes reached base four times and scored twice.
It was a very good sign that the Cubs got right back on the winning train after losing their previous game. The completely unexpected contribution from Tauchman has been a real help this season. It really takes a lot of stress off Chicago’s bullpen to have a big cushion on the scoreboard, they should keep doing that.