Jake Arrieta took the mound against Cody Ponce in game one of the series in Pittsburgh looking to bounce back from his rough outing versus Washington on May 19. Unfortunately, Arrieta picked up right where he left off, allowing three earned runs in the first two frames. He would settle down, however, holding the Pirates scoreless from that point forth.
He finished the night with five innings pitched, allowing three earned runs on five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
Joc Pederson got the Cubs on the board in the 3rd with a moonshot to right. He tied the game in the 5th with a two-run homer he golfed over the wall on a pitch below his knees. Later in the inning, the Cubs took the lead on a softly-hit single against the shift by Anthony Rizzo.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 26, 2021
Why the Cubs Won
A solid start by Arrieta, a power surge from Pederson, and continued dominance by the bullpen resulted in tonight’s victory.
In the top of the 7th, with the Cubs leading 4-3, the Pirates had runners on second and third with two away. David Ross called on Andrew Chafin, who struck out Pittsburgh centerfielder Bryan Reynolds on a check swing to end the inning.
Stats That Matter
- Arrieta is 3-0 with an ERA of 3.18 against Pittsburgh this year.
- With another scoreless effort, the bullpen has allowed just one run (unearned) with 40 strikeouts in the last 29.2 innings.
- Pederson continues to produce out of the leadoff spot. Tonight he was 3-for-5 with two homers and three RBI.
Arrieta started slow but settled in after the 2nd inning, doing just enough to earn the win. It would still be better if the starters pitched deeper into games as the season progresses to take some of the burden off of the bullpen and avoid burnout later in the year.