The Pirates suffered their first loss of the season, 5-1, in Chicago. More importantly, Ke’Bryan Hayes left the game with a left wrist injury.
The injury occurred in the first inning when Hayes dived back to first on a pickoff throw. It appeared he may have caught his little finger in the dirt and bent the wrist too far. Hayes stayed in the game and ultimately scored the Bucs’ only run when Kevin Newman bounced a single up the middle. Two innings later, though, Hayes came out for a pinch hitter. The Pirates are currently calling it — suprise! — left wrist discomfort, with more info to follow.
Tyler Anderson gave the Pirates the kind of start they probably expected when they signed him. He allowed three runs over five innings, which isn’t bad against a good-hitting team in Wrigley Field. Anderson fanned seven and got 22 swings and misses, which according to the interwebs is the most by a Pirate pitcher since 2015. But he gave up three singles and a sacrifice fly in the second, and a dinger by Kris Bryant in the third.
Unfortunately, starts like Anderson’s won’t win many games on a team with a deadball-era offense. The Pirates managed only six hits, five of them singles, and one walk. They also fanned a dozen times, half of those by Bryan Reynolds, Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco. The hits all came in the first six innings against Jake Arrieta. The Cubs’ bullpen, apparently over their control problems, vaporized the Pirates’ bats over the last three innings, retiring nine straight, seven on strikeouts. The ninth was especially pitiful, as Moran, Newman and Polanco all struck out looking.
The Pirates’ bullpen was a mixed bag. In the sixth, Clay Holmes gave up his first run of 2021. It came on a sinker that didn’t sink; Jason Heyward launched it into the stratosphere. But that was the only runner off Holmes. In the seventh, Wil Crowe had the sort of outing you dread from a right-handed finesse guy. He nibbled and nibbled, which is precisely why the Nationals didn’t mind trading him. That led to two walks and two wild pitches, and Javier Baez singled to drive in one run. Michael Feliz eventually got the last out of the inning on a strikeout. The Pirates shouldn’t have a tough time deciding whom to send down when Kyle Crick returns.
On the plus side, Luis Oviedo made his major league debut with a 1-2-3 inning. In fact, it was his first game above low class A. He threw 11 of 14 pitches for strikes. His fastball was 95-98, and he threw a curve and a slider, including one of the former to strike out Ian Happ. Obviously, we need to see a lot more of Oviedo, but he might be a potential starter at some point.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman had an update on Ke’Bryan Hayes and it’s good news
Ke’Bryan Hayes X-ray on his left wrist is negative, so good news for Pirates. He had left the game after experiencing discomfort.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 4, 2021