In the kind of game that makes you wonder just what the heck you're trying to accomplish sitting there watching it, the Cubs mashed 18 hits, put together innings of four and six runs each and dominated the Pirates, 12-2, at PNC Park on Monday night.
Chad Kuhl and Steven Brault each got lit up, for five and seven runs, respectively. Only three of Brault's runs counted as earned, thanks to a Jordy Mercer error in the sixth.
To start the fourth inning, Kuhl allowed six hits and hit a batter, putting the first seven men on base. The fourth of which, Javier Baez, whacked a grand slam into the left-field bleachers for a 5-0 Cubs lead. After Kuhl loaded the bases a second time, Zach Phillips came on and struck out Anthony Rizzo and got Willson Contreras to bounce into a double play to end the inning, then pitched a scoreless fifth. Phillips flashed his nice little curveball and, for the second straight outing, kinda sorta looked like someone who could make a case for a 2017 bullpen spot. I guess that's what we're getting by not packing it in and doing other things with our time. Zach Phillips intel.
Brault got tagged for six runs in the sixth, including a two-run homer by Kris Bryant and a RBI double by Albert Almora.
Matt Joyce and David Freese electrified the dozens still in attendance with back-to-back homers in the eighth, Freese's coming in a pinch-hit appearance.
Jacob Stallings went 2-for-2 in replacement duty, staying at 1.000 (3-for-3) for September. His dad is the new Pitt basketball coach, you know.