Based on the pattern that Trevor Cahill has been following all year, he was set to have a good outing versus the Cubs at Wrigley Field this afternoon. Since the beginning of the year Pirates Fans have gone back and forth between Cahill being a DFA candidate, not going to happen, and a possible trade chip at the deadline, which is also extremely unlikely either given his inconsistency. However, whenever he pitches, you usually now by the end of the first inning if you have a legitimate shot to win the game; and today the Pirates had a chance.
After a leadoff single by Joc Peterson, Cahill settled down, and was one the verge of ending the inning on a lazy fly ball by Anthony Rizzo to right field. That was until Phillip Evans muffed the ball as he approached the wall; allowing the first run of the game to score. Over the next two innings another couple of Cubs would cross the plate due to a balls that just found the holes, or in some cases deflected off the fielders’ gloves; although Cahill threw a wild pitch during one sequence, which did not necessarily help his day.
At the plate, the Pirates batters only managed one hit, a Cahill bunt single, through the first four innings. Following two more base hits, in the 5th and 6th, Pittsburgh was finally able put something together in the top of the 7th; ultimately loading the bases with no one out. Unfortunately after two bounces back the pitcher, by Todd Frazier and Ka’ai Tom, the Pirates half of the inning was over.
Fortunately, they would get another chance in the top of the 9th, thanks to two scoreless innings of relief from Michael Feliz and another one from Luis Oviedo. After scoring two runs to begin the rally, the Pirates would once again load the bases; this time with two outs, and the game on the line.
After stretching the count to 3 and 2, Bryan Reynolds would pop out to the right fielder; ending the rally, as Pittsburgh dropped the first of three to the Chicago North Siders by a score of 3 to 2.
News and Notes:
- Todd Frazier is now 1 for 27 since coming up to join the Pirates. He did have an RBI in this game, his fourth on the season; but I don’t think I am alone in thinking that I have seen enough from the aging veteran.
- The Pirates have just 21 home runs, as a team, on the season; with only the Mets below them with 20. I knew this was a likely possibility, however, I guess I also overestimated their ability to manufacture runs playing small ball.
- Pittsburgh has a top 10 bullpen (3.56 ERA), which allows them to stay close in games. Yet, once again, if you have the second worst offense statistically in all of MLB, that means the potential for a lot of close games, and not much more at this point.
- It has been nice to see Jacob Stallings get the bat going, after his average drop to a season low of .208 back on April 22nd. Currently he is hitting .253, which nothing to write home about, but is more in line with expectations.
- Today was not the best day for Bryan Reynolds to struggle at the plate, with an 0 for 5 day; even so the guy has been more than consistent, so he can’t be counted on to do everything.
The Pirates (13-18) and the Cubbies (16-16) will be back at it tomorrow at 2:10 PM EST. For Pittsburgh, Wil Crowe (0-1, 4.66) goes up against an old friend, Trevor Williams (2-2, 6.00 ERA).