Cubs Use Big First Inning to Sink Pirates 9-0
The Pirates and Cubs played the first of a three games series at Wrigley Field on Monday night, but this one was over before it even started. Willson Contreras capped off an eight-run first inning for the Cubs with a grand slam, paving the way for an easy 9-0 victory for Chicago.
Dillon Peters was used in the opener capacity, but the left-hander struggled with command and wasn’t nearly as effective as he had been all season prior. Ian Happ recorded an RBI-double for the game’s first run and Yan Gomes followed with a run-scoring, line drive single. Happ and Gomes each collected three hits. Andrelton Simmons then placed a weak infield grounder perfectly resulting in another run of the Cubs.
After Bryse Wilson, who came into the game in relief of Peters, walked Rafael Ortega resulting in another run for the Cubs, Contreras followed with a first-pitch grand slam, his 100th career homer and second hit of the inning. The Cubs sent 13 men to the plate in the inning.
The Cubs added their ninth run on a double play off the bat of Gomes in the fourth inning, but that was the only other run the Cubs got off of Wilson, who worked 5.1 innings of relief.
After registering zero hits in Sunday’s game, the Pirates managed only one hit off of Cubs starter Wade Miley, who dominated the Pirates lineup. He worked seven scoreless with six strikeouts, and the Michael Chavis single was the only baserunner he allowed.
Tyler Beede made his Pirates debut and pitched a scoreless seventh and fanned Contreras to end the inning.
The Pirates will look to bounce back on Tuesday night with JT Brubaker (0-3, 5.34 ERA) on the mound. The Cubs have yet to announce a starter.
- Silent With The Sticks: After the Pirates failed to record a hit until Chavis lined a single with two outs in the fifth inning of the game, they extended their streak of consecutive innings without a hit to 15. The last hit prior to Chavis’ was a Rodolfo Castro single in the seventh inning of the Bucs 3-1 win over the Reds on Saturday. Of course the Pirates became the first team since 2008 and the sixth team in history to win a game without recording a hit but, newsflash, the Pirates are probably going to need to hit more to win games moving forward.
- Well, That Didn’t Work: The use of Peters as the opener, followed by Wilson coming in relief, had worked the previous two times it has been used by the Pirates. Peters tossed 5.1 scoreless innings at the beginning of games this year, and Wilson only allowed three hits and had 10 punch outs over 7.2 innings without getting tagged with an earned run. Peters didn’t have it going from the beginning, and Wilson was then charged with the difficult task of limiting the damage. Wilson did settle in nicely, and only gave up one unearned run over his final 4.2 innings.
- Cruise Control: I can’t recall a starting pitcher working as fast as Miley did on Monday night. For essentially the entire night, Miley would get the ball back from Contreras, read the first sign given, and immediately start his windup all within a matter of seconds. He was in complete control the entire night and rarely broke his rhythm. The Pirates occasionally called timeout in the box, but didn’t do nearly enough to mess with his timing.