The game ended tonight and the Pirates lost 12-2. Here is a note.
Pirates blown out by the Cubs
For the fifth game in a row, a Pirates' starter didn't get out of the fifth inning. Chad Kuhl made through three innings before allowing the first seven hitters of the fourth to either reach base or clear the bases.
"I think it came down to that one inning," Kuhl said. "I just need to make sure I limit the damage."
Jayson Heyward led off the fourth with a single and Addison Russel followed with a walk. Then, and tell me if you'd heard this before, Albert Almora Jr. dropped a sacrifice bunt that turned into a hit because no one covered first.
"The hitter comes out and the barrel is pointed towards the first baseman, it's a drag bunt all of the way," Clint Hurdle said. "With more experience, the first baseman can see the bunt and knows he has to get back. Unfortunately, there are some experiences out there that John [Jaso] hasn't had enough of out there. He's learning hard and we're learning hard along the way."
For the season, the Pirates have allowed 27 hits on 118 bunt attempts for a .237 average. That compares to a .213 average for the rest of the league.
Anyway, the bases were loaded after the bunt. Javier Baez followed with a grand slam down the left field line on a 0-2 pitch. That made the score 5-0. The Cubs would load the bases five times throughout the night, plus bat around twice.
"You see where that ball is, that's not where John wants to throw it," Hurdle said. "That's where it ended up and that's what a number eight hitter at the major league level can do."
The Cubs strung together three more consecutive hits and the Kuhl was lifted for Zach Phillips. Steven Brault entered the game in the six and suffered through a 43 pitch, six-run inning.
"[Brault's] out there pumping everything he's got into it," Hurdle said. "Up here when you have to throw fastballs to major league hitters and they know it, I mean, it usually doesn't end well."
After that nothing much happened or mattered. It's probably worth noting that Jordy Mercer and Jung-ho Kang each committed errors, which added to the really poor baseball that's become too commonplace of late.
Matt Joyce hit a solo home run. David Freese also hit one. The Pirates have now hit 69 home runs at PNC Park this season, which is just three short of last year's total.
The Pirates recorded all 27 outs tonight.
Again, the final score was 12-2. The Pirates' Wild Card elimination number is two.