Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/26/21): Cubs 4, Pirates 1 – Williams Bounces Back in Big Way
Trevor Williams (2-2, 5.97 ERA) took the mound against Wil Crowe (0-2, 4.91 ERA) in game two of the series, looking to change the narrative after serving up six homers and accumulating an ERA of 8.78 over four starts in May.
Williams was superb Wednesday night, pitching five spotless frames before giving up a run in the 6th. He finished the night after six innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and no walks with seven strikeouts. He also helped his own cause with a pair of singles.
The Cubs opened the scoring in the 2nd when David Bote sent a two-run rocket to center field. Later in the inning, Kris Bryant extended the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single. The Pirates got on the board in the 6th, but Bryant had struck again in the top half of the inning with this second RBI of the night to pad the lead to a four-run advantage.
Pittsburgh held the offense at bay for the rest of the game, but the bullpen was immaculate once again as the Cubs won by a final of 4-1. (Box score)
Right where @DavidBote13 likes it!#CubTogether pic.twitter.com/b69QKA5kiv
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 26, 2021
Why the Cubs Won
A masterful start by Williams, just enough offense, and another lockdown performance by the bullpen resulted in a victory.
With the Cubs up 4-1 in the 6th, Williams found himself in a jam for the first time. The Pirates had a man on first with nobody out after already pushing across their first run of the night. When it felt like the inning might get away from Williams, he was able to bounce back by inducing a double play and ending the inning with a strikeout of Cubs killer Ben Gamel.
Stats That Matter
- After giving up a triple to Gamel in the 2nd, Williams retired 14 consecutive batters, one away from tying his career-high of 15.
- Bryant continued his MVP-caliber season, going 3-for-5 with 2 RBI. He’s batting .317 with a .997 OPS.
- Forced into starting duty with Nico Hoerner on the IL, Eric Sogard went 2-for-4 and scored two runs.
- The Cubs are 11-0 when Bote records an RBI.
In the pregame show, it was stated that Williams tweaked something with his delivery. Whatever he did clearly worked and it was great to see him get back on track tonight. The Cubs only used their bullpen for three innings, which is big when it comes to avoiding burnout.
Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 4.74 ERA) toes the rubber against Tyler Anderson (3-4, 4.73 ERA) in the series finale as the Cubs go for the sweep. First pitch is scheduled for 11:35am CT on Marquee, MLB Network, and 670 The Score.