The Cubs’ bats broke out early and the Pittsburgh Pirates were unable to overcome the deficit as Chicago went on a 4-2 home victory at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
It was a rough first inning for Pirates starter Bryse Wilson. The Cubs recorded three consecutive doubles to take a 3-0 early lead.
To Wilson’s credit, he settled in nicely and blanked the Cubs over the next five innings. In Wilson’s six innings of work, he allowed three earned runs on six hits, one walk and a pair of strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches, 50 for strikes.
The Pirates finally got to Keegan Thompson in the seventh inning when Oneil Cruz delivered a two-run shot over the fence in center field. The blast registered an exit velocity of 111.3 mph.
Cruz Missile! pic.twitter.com/MoeC6fkI7a
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 26, 2022
Seiya Suzuki provided an insurance run for the Cubs in the bottom of the eighth with a long home run to left field off of Pirates’ reliever Wil Crowe, increasing the lead to 4-2.
The Cubs took both games of the two-game series and extended their winning streak to six games. The Pirates, on the other hand, have lost four of five since the All-Star break.
The Pirates have an off day Wednesday before starting a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park on Thursday.
- First Inning Blues: After Wilson was tagged with three earned runs in the first inning, his ERA in the opening frame on the season climbed to an eye-opening 16.55 (19 earned runs in 10.1 innings). Opponents are hitting .463 with an .871 slugging percentage in the first. Wilson seems to do better later in games as evident by his 9.95 ERA in innings 1-3 and 1.61 ERA in innings 4-6.
- But Other Than That… Wilson has actually pitched pretty well over his last four starts dating back to July 2. Over those four games, Wilson has posted a 3.27 ERA (8er/22ip). A big reason for his success of late is that he has only issued a pair of free passes and has yielded the same amount of long balls to opposing batters.
- Cruz Catching Fire: Thanks to his seventh inning home run, Cruz extended his hitting streak to six games. In those six games, Cruz is hitting .292 (7 for 24) with a pair of home runs and five runs driven in. The Pirates’ rookie shortstop also has hits in 10 of his last 12 contests and 12 of his last 15 dating back to July 6 against the Yankees.