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Cubs Take Advantage of Bad Pirates Bullpen, Take Series 8-3

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Luis Ortiz, Pittsburgh pirates

The bullpen cost the Pittsburgh Pirates yet again, as Patrick Wisdom’s 25th home run propelled the Chicago Cubs to an 8-3 victory on Sunday at PNC Park.

The Cubs walked away with a series victory as well as taking the season series, going 10-9.

With Zach McKinstry on first base after a Luis Ortiz (0-1) walk in the fifth inning, Manny Banuelos came on to face left-handed hitting Esteban Quiroz,

Quiroz walked, giving way to the powerful Wisdom.

The first pitch of the at-bat was a slider left over the plate, and Wisdom did not miss with his 25th homer of the season.

The three-run home run went 445 feet and it gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead,

The Pirates’ batters were swinging early and often.

Cubs starter Adrian Sampson (3-5) needed just 48 pitches through the first five innings.

The least amount of pitches thrown through five innings in the major leagues in 2022 is 45 by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Tony Gonsolin and the Miami Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara.

Bryan Reynolds broke up the shutout in the sixth inning by drilling his 26th home run of the season 396 feet to right-center, making it a 3-1 ballgame.

To add insult to injury, the Cubs tacked on some insurance runs in the seventh inning, burying the Pirates.

An Ian Happ single made it a 4-1 game, an error by shortstop Oneil Cruz on a Nelson Velazquez grounder allowed two more runs to score.

The eighth inning from the Cubs made it a laugher with them taking an 8-1 lead from a Quiroz single and the combination of a wild pitch from Miguel Yajure and a throwing error from catcher Jason Delay.

The Pirates attempted a comeback in the ninth.

With a Reynolds walk and a Cruz single, the Pirates had men on the corners with no outs.

Rodolfo Castro hit a ball into left-center field for a sac fly, scoring Reynolds and making it an 8-2 game.

Jack Suwinski hit a sac fly as well after Cruz advanced to third base on a single from Ke’Bryan Hayes and an error by Wisdom at third base. The Pirates trailed 8-3 but got no closer.

Despite only pitching 4.2 innings, Ortiz put on another impressive start and is starting to look like one of the best Pirates pitchers.

One of the more impressive innings from Ortiz was in the second inning, where he nearly threw an immaculate inning against Nico Hoerner, Franmil Reyes, and P.J. Higgins.

Ortiz ultimately ended up throwing 10 strikes in a row after an 0-2 foul ball from Higgins, but nonetheless, it garnered some national attention.

One of the more famous Twitter accounts, Rob Friedman, A.K.A,  “Pitching Ninja,” tweeted out three separate posts regarding Ortiz.

Looking at Ortiz’s entire body of work, you can’t do anything but smile at his ability to pull the strings like a puppeteer on opposing hitters with his slider.

Out of the 15 swings and misses, Ortiz got Cubs’ batters to whiff ten times on his slider.

It would have been nice to see Ortiz go a full five innings, but due to a hard pitch count limit, he was pulled with 80 pitches thrown.

The Pittsburgh Pirates stay home to face the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game series.

Roansy Contreras (5-5, 3.68 ERA) will toe the rubber against Chase Anderson (2-3, 5.21 ERA) on Monday night.

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