The Cubs entered Wednesday with a chance to take all three games from Pirates, which would be their first sweep of 2022. Unfortunately, the home team went cold at the plate and was unable to break out the brooms.
Ian Happ kicked off the scoring with a solo home run against Pirates opener Wil Crowe in the bottom of the 1st. Cubs hurler Drew Smyly started out very well, breezing through the first two innings with five strikeouts.
Ke’Bryan Hayes started a rally for the Bucs in the top of the 3rd with a double that bounced off of the very edge of the basket fencing and stayed in the park. Michael Chavis and Daniel Vogelbach singled to give Pittsburgh their first runs of the series and a 2-1 lead.
Seiya Suzuki doubled in the bottom of the 4th inning and Frank Schwindel chased him home with a single to tie the game at two, but that wasn’t going to be enough. Chicago native Jack Suwinski hit a solo blast to put the Pirates back ahead in the top of the 5th.
The bullpens took over from there and neither team was able to score again as Pittsburgh closed out the 3-2 victory. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
They had just one hit after the 4th inning and did not give themselves a chance to come back from the one-run deficit.
Schwindel got caught overrunning second base after Jonathan Villar reached on an infield single in the 4th and was tagged out. The mistake on the base paths short-circuited what could’ve been a bigger inning.
Stats That Matter
- Smyly ran out of steam after his impressive opening: 4.1 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 5 K, and 1 BB.
- Christopher Morel got a base hit in the 9th and had several good defensive plays at third in his first career start.
- David Robertson was back on the mound throwing a clean inning after missing a week with COVID.
The Cubs have outscored the Pirates 48-28 in 2022, yet they have lost five of nine games so far. Chicago has gone just 3-9 in games decided by one run, some of which is bad luck and more of which is their anemic offense failing to scratch anything out.
The Cubs welcome the Diamondbacks to Wrigley for four games starting Thursday at 6:40pm CT. Marcus Stroman returns from his own stint on the COVID IL to take on the red-hot Zac Gallen in a broadcast available on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.