Pirates Take 8–7 Comeback Win Over Cubs

Three Run Home Run In The Seventh By McCutchen Dooms Cubs

Kris Bryant hits his 1st home-run of the season off of the left field video board(Iowa Cubs via Flickr)

When the wind is blowing out at Wrigley, no lead is safe. That held true Saturday afternoon. Behind a four home run day from the Pittsburgh offense, the Pirates overcame a four run first from the Cubs offense and won 8–7.

Kris Bryant hit two home runs on the day, numbers 1 and 2 of the year for the reigning MVP. Number one was a mammoth 465 foot shot off of the video board in left. That blast was part of a four run first inning for the Cubs offense. The second was a wind aided fly ball into the basket that pulled the Cubs within one in the bottom of the ninth.

The Cubbies had Tyler Glasnow on the ropes in the first inning. They roughed him up to the tune of four runs on four hits. But he was able to wiggle off of the hook and give the Pirates five innings after it looked like his day would end in the first.

The Pirates were able to put up single runs in the second and third innings off of Cubs right hander Jake Arrieta and cut the lead to 4–2 after two and a half innings. The first of those two runs was a wind aided homer by Francisco Cervelli into the center field basket.

After a two run double by Addison Russell in the bottom of the third, the Cubs pushed the lead to 6–2.

The fourth and fifth innings produced nothing for either team, as the score remained 6–2 headed to the top of the sixth.

Sterling Marte hit a solo homer to left on a full count and the Cubs lead was cut to 6–3. After Arrieta retired McCutchen and Freese, Joe Maddon ended Jake’s day after 98 pitches. Brian Duensing came on and retired Josh Bell to end the sixth.

All in all, on a tough day to pitch, Arrieta’s performance was strong enough to win. But the combination of Duensing and Strop could not stop the Pirates offense and give Arrieta the outcome he deserved.

Brian Duensing retired Cervelli for the first out in the seventh but then surrendered a solo homer to Josh Harrison that cut the Cubs lead to 6–4. After a single and a steal by Alen Hanson, Adam Frazier singled him home to cut the lead to one, 6–5.

Maddon went and got Duensing in favor of Pedro Strop. Strop walked Marte, moving Frazier to second. And on a 2–2 count, Andrew McCutchen tallied the Pirates fourth homer of the afternoon. It was a high fly ball to left field that the wind helped stay fair and as it dropped into the bleachers the Cubs were down 8–6. The Buc’s put five runs on the board in the inning on four hits. The comeback was complete.

Although Pedro Strop’s season numbers appear inflated and his ERA stands at 9.00 after the day, he has not pitched poorly. He’s logged four innings of work and allowed four runs but two came in an appearance against the Cardinals on opening day and two in this game. Commanding his pitches has been his issue and he struggled with that again today.

Kris Bryant’s second homer of the day off of Pirates closer Tony Watson cut the lead to 8–7 but that was all they could muster in the ninth. It was Watson’s second save in two days and his fourth of the year.

The Cubs will look to stop their two game skid as they send Jon Lester (2.44 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 3.47 xFIP; 3.79 K/BB) to the mound to face Jameson Taillon (3.38 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 3.43 FIP; 5.00 K/BB). The first pitch in the Easter Sunday matinee is at 1:20.

Doug Preszler is the type of person who can be a Cubs fan and an Iowa Hawkeye fan while living in South Dakota. He is a man who cares not for regional loyalty. He can be found on Twitter @PreszlerDoug, telling tales of the Dakotan Cubs fan’s existence