The Pittsburgh Pirates bats were hot in Spring Training; and it was the hope, no matter how unrealistic it was perceived, that this would continue. In my season preview I even called for them to help out Chad Kuhl in the top of the first by putting some runs on the board, which is exactly what Ke’Bryan Hayes did; although Kuhl tried his best to waste the favor, at least initially. Sure his outing probably didn’t turn out the way he would have liked, but the two runs on one hit wasn’t truly all his fault.
On the other side of the coin, Kyle Hendricks and his counterparts were even more out of control with their pitch selection. This allowed the Pirates to manufacture runs beyond the Hayes bomb, with stolen bases, hustle and a little bit of small ball. Whereas their batters couldn’t seem to make it on or even around the base paths without the Pirates help; only managing two hits the entire game.
In the end, after a four hour affair, a midst the frigid air on the Northside your Pirates outlasted the Cubs for a 5-3 victory on Opening Day 2021.
News and Notes
- Ke’Bryan Hayes keeps the hype train rolling on a two-run homer in the Top of the 1st that traveled 410 feet with an exit velocity of 105.3 mph straight through the Wrigley Field wind.
- Duane Underwood Jr. strikes out the side in his Pirates regular season debut, against his former team. Sam Howard matches him in the 6th and local boy David Bednar adds two more.
- Mental and physical errors abound as Adam Frazier lets a grounder slip out of his web and Stallings rips a throw beyond Kevin Newman’s range, while Alford and Fowler looked lost on the bases in the 4th. So, instead of having a four or five run cushion, the Pirates clung to 4-2 lead.
- The Pirates walked 11 times, and Phillip Evans got plunked. Not a great day for the Cubs pitchers; although the Pirates helped them out by going 3 for 20 with runners in scoring position and leaving 20 men on base.
- He can hit, David; and he can walk too. Adam Frazier goes 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and 2 BB. Cue the Trade Rumors.
After an off day on Friday, the Pirates and Cubs will be back at it on Saturday afternoon at 2:20 PM EST, as Tyler Anderson takes the mound to face off against Jake Arrieta in his homecoming.