The Pirates continue to find new and exciting ways to lose ballgames. Today, it was an invisible banana peel conveniently placed beneath the foot of Starling Marte on what should’ve been a routine fly out to left center field. Long story short, it wasn’t. This miscue provided the Cubs the opportunity they needed to score the first and only runs of the game.
In Marte’s defense, the outfield grass was wet. Also, in Marte’s defense, this miscue would only be a viable excuse for the loss had the Pirates been able to muster up any sort of offense, whatsoever. The Pirates only hit on the day was an Austin Meadows two out triple to right in the 3rd inning. Needless to say he was stranded.
Here’s how the scoring went:
Kingham plunked the first batter he faced, effectively awarding Bryant first base. Heyward followed up by hitting a fly ball to left center field where Marte called Meadows off and then tripped over his own feet. This allowed Bryant to reach third base on the Heyward double. Then, Chicago put on a clinic on how to score runners from third base with less than two outs. Zobrist delivered a simple RBI ground out to score Bryant and Rizzo followed it up with a sacrifice fly, scoring Heyward. I hope Pirates hitters were taking notes on how to manufacture runs as they desperately need help in that area.
Kingham settled in after issuing a couple of walks in the second inning. His final line was 6.1 IP, 4H 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO. The bullpen delivered another scoreless outing, too. Overall, it was a solid performance on the mound for the Pirates.
The Bucs’ offense went down 1-2-3 in seven separate innings while striking out eight times (half of those went to Polanco and Rodriguez). They hit the ball hard a few different times during the game but everything seemed to be tracked down by the Cubs outfield.
Lester got the win on the day, improving to 7-2 while Kingham suffered another tough loss.
The Pirates secured their 7th consecutive series loss upon conclusion of today’s game. That streak dates back to May 17th against the Padres to anyone curious. The last series Pittsburgh won was against the freaking White Sox.
Ivan Nova will take the hill tomorrow to face off against Kyle Hendricks in the finale at 2:20pm.