I decided to go for a hike today because it’s beautiful out and I figured the game wouldn’t much be worth watching. I should never have doubted Gerrit Cole, who had a masterful start and led the Pirates as they squeaked out a 2-1 win against the Cubs on the back of Cole’s pitching and Jung-Ho Kang’s bat.
I won’t dwell much on how Lester didn’t give up a hit until the seventh, because that would simply be focusing on the negatives when the Pirates really need to be taking as many positives from this game as possible. Gerrit Cole looked every bit the ace he hasn’t been all season thus far, limiting damage by scattering only three hits over his eight innings without allowing a walk, which is only his second start this year without one. Cole was the stopper today and if this game is any indication, hopefully he’s trending in the right direction and plays like a bulldog for the remainder of the season.
Kang did what he did so many times last season: come up with a clutch hit when the Pirates needed it. His two-out RBI double in the seventh put the Pirates on the board after being no hit through six innings and his solo homer in the ninth was the insurance run they needed to win after Melancon gave one up in the ninth. The contributions this guy makes to this team can’t be overstated, and it’s great to see him back in form, mashing doubles to the gap and towering home runs.
Overall, the Pirates have played terribly against the Cubs, but it sure feels good to get the monkey off their back and get their first win against them this year. The Pirates have home series coming up against the Braves (4 games!) and the Rockies, both of whom are terrible baseball teams. It sure would be nice to get some wins and put themselves in a better position in the standings at the end of this week.