Pirates Win, Split Home Opening Series with Cubs

4-13-22 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

The Pirates entered today’s contest against the Cubs fresh off the home opener that saw them only post one run and waste a solid pitching performance against the weakest version of the Cubs lineup.

Today the Cubs would put their best foot forward, with arguably their best pitcher and the Pirates would counter with an untested starter in Zach Thompson and a lineup that surely wouldn’t strike fear into anyone.

As any baseball fan worth his or her salt would tell you, of course it was a resounding victory for the Pirates.

In the top of the first, you wouldn’t have been looked at crooked if you sighed and turned off the tv.

The Cubs as it turned out would do precious little beyond that as instead it was the Pirates led by Ke’Bryan Hayes’ 4 for 4 performance and continued defensive excellence that made Kyle Hendricks and the Cubbies wear it today.

Getting the party started was Ben Gamel, proving the source of his power wasn’t the hair.

The Pirates defacto starting outfielder and all around heart and hustle guy would rear his head later in the game, but for this moment Thompson wouldn’t look back.

Next big contribution was Kevin Newman who drilled one off the Clemente Wall. Not to take anything away from the hit, but a more experienced outfielder in this ballpark probably hauls this triple in.

Excellent defense all day by really everyone. Reynolds with a really nice catch in center, Ke’Bryan Hayes just keeps starting double plays, more than any third baseman in the game at this early stage to be precise.

Even Yoshi Tsutsugo got in on the act with a really nice diving spear at first.

Then this gem by Ben Gamel later in the game while Wil Crowe was earning his first save as a professional, the hard way via a three inning outing.

Heck of a bounceback and the Pirates win 6-2. They are now 2-3 on the season and jump right back into action tomorrow as Washington comes to town for a 6:35 start.

Also, I wasn’t scheduled to cover this game, so well wishes go out to Craig Toth as he battles a stomach bug, get well soon buddy.

News & Notes

  • Wil Crowe has simply been lights out in his new role from the bullpen. Dillon Peters also did well today pitching 2 scoreless. In fact the Pirates tossed out three guys all in the mix to start this season in the rotation at the Cubs and got the job done. This bullpen could wind up being a pleasant surprise and if they are, the entire staff will. This is a role I pounded my fist for Crowe to fill this season, and much like Hannibal from the A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together.
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes hitting the way he has certainly is welcome, but my god he’s just a vacuum cleaner at the hot corner. Nothing gets past him and his release is so quick he’s turning even soft contact into double play opportunities. If he plays like this all season it’s not hyperbole to suggest he really should net his first gold glove, it’s that noticeably special folks.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

One thought on “Pirates Win, Split Home Opening Series with Cubs

  1. I’m starting to remind myself not to take Hayes’ defense for granted, haha. Absolutely thrilled with this usage of Crowe too–everything about the arsenal (especially with the somewhat high-pitch-count starts he’s had) just screams multi-inning reliever, and though the Cubs aren’t Murderers Row, they’re not outright slouches either.

    Thompson I felt meh about in this one, seemed like the full package wasn’t quite there today. I know he left from injury, but I was wondering how many batters he had left with pitch count constraints for everyone in the first few starts. I guess it’s acceptable if it takes 90 pitches to get one- or two-run ball for five innings, just concerned about that fifth inning turning against him as he tires.

    Get well soon to both him and Craig!

    Liked by 1 person

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