Johan Oviedo had an absolute knockout of an outing tonight, and Ji Hwan Bae and Jack Suwinski helped him out as the Pirates shut down the Cubs with authority, 6-0 at PNC Park.
Oviedo gave up only three singles over the course of his seven-inning outing, retiring the last sixteen batters he faced and effectively erasing the bad memory of his last outing against the Mets while only throwing 82 pitches, not walking anyone and seven strikeouts. Meanwhile, Bae, who as I said on Twitter last night looks like the most athletic member of a K-Pop group (that hair is fabulous), got his first Major League ribbies in the fifth inning after Ben Gamel walked and Greg Allen reached on a fielder’s choice, doubling them both in and earning this nickname from Pirates Twitter:
Ji Hwan Slay pic.twitter.com/nozO30dKUB— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 24, 2022
Cubs starter Wade Miley left the game shortly thereafter with a tweaked oblique, and Jack Suwinski pinch-hit for Diego Castillo—and did this:
Jack Suwinski loves hitting at PNC!! pic.twitter.com/tkHFnVVqPl— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 25, 2022
Jack-Jack’s now tied with Jason Bay for the most home runs by a rookie at home.
And that was all the offense needed. Zach Thompson came on in relief and did his job, a welcome sight after the bullpen’s recent woes. I would also point out that neither Oneil Cruz (day off) or Ke’Bryan Hayes (still dealing with an injury) were in the lineup. Yeah, true, the Cubs aren’t that great, but after the debacle of the New York road trip and faltering against the Cubs the last two games, this win was badly needed—and a lot of fun to watch.