Game Recap: Pirates Hitters Stay in Character in Home Opener Loss

The Pirates got a decently pitched game, apart from the usual batch of gopher balls, but their offense just couldn’t get hits when they needed.  As a result, they lost their home opener to the Cubs, 4-2.  They’re now 1-6 on the season.

Tyler Anderson again did exactly what anybody would reasonably have expected.  He went five and a third, giving up three runs on ten hits, including bombs by Kris Bryant and Javier Baez.  Anderson’s gone at least five in both starts and has a 5.23 ERA, which makes him the undisputed ace of the staff.

The Pirates actually had a lead at one point.  After Bryant’s first-inning solo shot, the game stayed scoreless until the fourth, when the Bucs got three hits and a sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead.

The Cubs took the lead back in the sixth on a two-run blast by Baez.  A single finished Anderson and Clay Holmes got the last two outs of the inning.  The Pirates’ bullpen pitched much better in this game, giving up just a hit and a walk, both off Sam Howard, over the last three and two-thirds innings.  Unfortunately, the hit was yet another bomb, this one by Anthony Rizzo.

The Pirates’ hitters had seven hits in six innings off Jake Arrieta, then none off the Cubs’ bullpen over three.  They went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.  On the season, they’re now 9-for-51 (.176) w/RISP, with 19 strikeouts.

Down 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth, the Pirates had their best chance when Cubs’ reliever Dan Winkler walked three straight with one out.  The Pirates paid their usual price for loading their roster with position players who simply aren’t major league hitters, as Dustin Fowler and pinch hitter Wilmer Difo both fanned.