The Pirates’ veteran presences continued to show the young ‘uns how it’s done in the opener of their series in Chicago. Trevor Cahill ran his record to 1-4 and Todd Frazier got his batting average to .037 as the Pirates lost to the Cubs, 3-2.
Cahill didn’t put the Pirates in a first-inning hole this time, instead spreading it out over three innings, one run at a time. The first one, though, wasn’t his fault. It scored when Phillip Evans flubbed a two-out fly ball with a runner on third. But that one shouldn’t be credited to Evans. Credit it to Ben Cherington and Derek Shelton, and their iron determination not to put three outfielders in the outfield.
The other runs off Cahill came on a two-out single in the second and a sacrifice fly in the third. He left after five, having allowed eight hits.
The Pirates were facing Zach Davies, who came in with an ERA of 8.22. Davies didn’t even find the Pirates a challenge, allowing just five singles over seven shutout innings.
The one chance the Pirates had against Davies came in the seventh when they loaded the bases with nobody out. That brought up Frazier, who bounced back to the mound for a force at the plate. Ka’ai Tom followed by hitting into a double play.
The Pirates’ bullpen did its job. Michael Feliz threw two scoreless innings and Luis Oviedo had a 1-2-3 eighth.
In the ninth, the Pirates showed some sign of life. Colin Moran led off with a single and, after Evans fanned, Jacob Stallings doubled him to third. That brought up Frazier and Tom again. Frazier hit at easy two-hopper to short, which brought Moran home. Tom looped a single over second to make the score 3-2. Wilmer Difo followed with a single and Adam Frazier got hit with a pitch to load the bases. Bryan Reynolds, though, flied out to right.
Todd Frazier went 0-for-4. His average is now less than half what Anthony Alford’s was and less than a quarter of Dustin Fowler’s. All of which raises the question, If he’s so great in the clubhouse, why can’t he stay there? Maybe bang on trash cans or something.
Erik Gonzalez also went 0-for-4. He’s now on a 5-for-40 tear and has an OPS of .551. That makes him the ideal #3 hitter in Derek Shelton’s lineup.
The Pirates have now lost seven of eight.