CI Recap (4/25/17) – Cubs 1, Pirates 0; Cubs Shut Pirates Out, Win with Unearned Run

Gerrit Cole once again proved a challenge for the Cubs’ offense, limiting them to just two hits over seven innings while striking out eight. Luckily for the Cubs, the Pirates’ defense once again gifted them a run early.

After a beautiful opposite-field double by Addison Russell, Pirates second baseman Alen Hanson fielded a Jason Heyward grounder and airmailed the throw to first, allowing Russell to score the game’s lone run.

Kyle Hendricks still didn’t look quite like the 2016 Cy Young candidate version of himself, but this start was definitely a step in the right direction. His command was spotty at times, and the velocity is still down a bit, but Hendricks was able to deliver a quality start and limit the longball, which had plagued him in previous starts this season.

In a relatively uneventful game, perhaps the biggest moment for the Cubs came when reliever Koji Uehara stranded John Jaso after a leadoff double in the 7th. Uehara got Jordy Mercer to fly out, struck out Hanson, and got Jose Osuna (pinch-hitting for Cole) to fly out to preserve the one-run lead.

Stats That Matter

  • Kyle Hendricks went 6 innings (4 hits, 3 Ks, 2 BBs, 0 runs) in his best start so far.
  • Hendricks’ fastball was sitting around the mid-80’s for most of the game, but did touch 88. Still down a tick compared to last year, but trending in the right direction.
  • Addison Russell continues to look good at the plate, going 1-for-3 with a double and bumping his batting average to .291 on the season.
  • Hector Rondon delivered another scoreless inning of relief in the 8th, striking out one and walking one.
  • Wade Davis earned his fifth save of the season, looking dominant once again.
  • The Cubs have now won six of their first seven series to start the 2017 season.

The Bottom Line

The Cubs did close to nothing at the plate tonight but the Pirates gave them an opening. It was all Hendricks and the bullpen would need as they shut the Pirates down.

On Deck

The Cubs and Pirates wrap up the series Wednesday evening at 6:05 CT in a matchup that will feature Jon Lester and Tyler Glasnow. Lester is still looking for his first win on the 2017 campaign. Glasnow threw five innings and gave up four earned runs against the Cubs on April 15th.

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