The story today was much the same as it has been in every Pirates-Cubs game this season. The Cubs scored a bunch of runs, some of them on homers, and the Pirates couldn’t score enough runs to even make the game close. The Pirates have now been outscored by the Cubs 37-11 in their five contests this year.
This game turned on a dime in the fourth inning. The Pirates had already scored two runs against a shakier-than-usual Arrieta, who lacked command and gave up a few hits. The Pirates seemed on the verge of a breakthrough against Arrieta; with one out and runners on the corners, Josh Harrison ripped what looked to be a single up the middle, until it hit the mound (or maybe Arrieta’s foot, but what’s the difference) and bounced straight to Ben Zobrist, who started an inning-ending double play. Had it got through, the Pirates have a 3-0 lead with two runners on and one out and who knows how the game would have ended up. Instead, the Pirates went to the bottom half of the inning, Jeff Locke gave up two base runners on some questionable calls, and Anthony Rizzo took advantage by putting one into the seats for a 3-2 lead from which the Cubs never looked back. None of this probably mattered anyway, since the Cubs went on to score a bunch more runs and won handily.
This is getting really tiring to watch. Lots of Pirates fans and writers have given up on the division (perhaps justifiably so) and are already thinking about the Wild Card Game, but to be honest, the Pirates are going to need to give a better effort the rest of the season if they even want the chance to see Noah Syndergaard or Max Scherzer or Clayton Kershaw or whoever in that one game playoff.
First pitch tomorrow is at 2:20 EDT again. Hopefully Gerrit Cole can help get the Pirates their first victory against the Cubs on the year.