These young Bucs are something else. Powered behind the strong performances of Oneil Cruz and Bligh Madris, your Pittsburgh Pirates clobbered the Chicago Cubs in game one of four.
It all started in the bottom of the second inning with Madris recording his first Major League base hit and got his first RBIs to boot with a two-RBI single, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Cruz scored after elite speed on the tag up on a sac fly in the same inning, and in a flash, the Pirates were up 3-0.
In the bottom of the third, Cruz belted a three-run double, and the game was blown wide open 7-0 against the Cubs. At the night’s end, Cruz and Madris combined to go 5-9 with six RBIs. The Pirates beat the Cubs 12-1 and will play Tuesday night at 7:05 to try and repeat their performance.
Speaking of performance, one that will go unnoticed is JT Brubaker‘s. He pitched six extremely solid innings despite the walk numbers. Brubaker induced nine swings and misses, with five coming from his effective slider. Towards the end of the game, Brubaker flew through the lineup and even had a four-pitch inning.
Brubaker’s final line read six innings pitched, five hits, no earned runs, three walks, and five strikeouts on 105 pitches (60% strike rate). Brubaker used his sinker/slider combo the most, with his sinker being used 47% and his slider 30% of the time.
A wild pitch in the bottom of the third allowed Bryan Reynolds to score relatively easily. The Pirates led 4-0.
Ian Happ singled in the top of the seventh, plating the Cubs’ first run of the night. The Pirates led 7-1 over the Cubs.
The Pirates exploded for four runs in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a Daniel Vogelbach double, Cruz single, Tyler Heineman double, and a Park sacrifice fly. The Pirates led 12-1.
History- Oneil Cruz became just the third player since 1920 to have at least seven RBIs in his first three games in the Major Leagues. Cruz also recorded the hit of the year for the Pirates at 112.9 mph and the hardest throw by an infielder of all MLB at 96.7 mph.
History X2- Madris became the first Pirates player to have three hits in his Major League debut since Jason Kendall on April 1st, 1996. Madris is also the first non-Pirate pitcher to get two RBIs in their first at-bat since Walter Mueller on May 7th, 1922.