The Chicago Cubs hopped on over to Pittsburgh for a four-game set with the Pirates this week, and it was not an enjoyable road trip. The results from this series are below:
- Monday, September 21st: Cubs 5, Pirates 0
- Tuesday, September 22nd: Pirates 3, Cubs 2
- Wednesday, September 23rd: Pirates 2, Cubs 1
- Thursday, September 24th: Pirates 7, Cubs 0
On Sunday, Kyle Schwarber was benched by manager David Ross for his lackadaisical effort in the outfield.
On Monday, Kyle Schwarber showed that he took the benching to heart. The slugger answered with two doubles and two RBIs in the Cubs series-opening victory.
The Cubs started off the game with a little El Mago magic. Javier Baez dropped a bunt down in the second inning to get the Cubs offense going after a long scoreless streak.
Jon Lester absolutely battled throughout this outing, pitching out of multiple jams. The veteran earned the win after pitching six innings of scoreless baseball.
Victor Caratini joined the fun with a double of his own to drive in a run with two outs.
The bullpen came in and once again flourished, allowing no runs through the final three innings en route to a Cubs victory.
Before we get into the game, the Cubs clinched a playoff spot for the fifth time in the last six seasons on Tuesday night. I don’t care if the last few seasons have been a disappointment. I don’t care if almost every single team makes it to the postseason this year. You celebrate accomplishments in this life, the Cubs have accomplished a lot in recent years. It’s okay to celebrate.
Alright, onto the game.
Jose Quintana came back from the injured list on Tuesday night. He pitched two innings, allowing two hits and one run. He looked okay, but hopefully he gets stretched out a bit further in his next start.
The real talk of the town was Adbert Alzolay. He came on in relief and was throwing absolute filth. He could be a fantastic addition to a bullpen that just lost Rowan Wick for what could be the remainder of the year.
The Cubs were down 2-0 heading into the top of the eighth as the bats were once again dormant. The Captain, Anthony Rizzo, decided to take matters into this own hands.
Unfortunately the enjoyment was brief, as Cubs proceeded to give up a walk-off home run to lose the game in the bottom of the ninth.
The Cubs are headed to the postseason once again, now it’s time to take the NL Central crown.
Different Game, Same Story
This is it. This is the game that broke my spirit.
I am a very optimistic fan by nature, but every fan has their tipping point. The Cubs wasted another good outing by Kyle Hendricks on Wednesday night with their inability to hit the baseball.
Hendricks allowed back-to-back home runs to lead off the game but settled in nicely after that. The Professor pitched 7.2 innings while walking only one Pirate batter.
The Cubs drove in one run Monday night, thanks to Anthony Rizzo.
I will leave you all with just how great the Cubs bats have been this month.
Just Put This Team Six Feet Under
The Cubs followed up Wednesday’s joy ride by not getting a hit until the sixth inning of Thursday’s matinee.
Alec Mills got absolutely rocked, allowing four runs in 3.2 innings. The bullpen followed that up by allowing three runs of their own.
The Pirates absolutely destroyed the Chicago Cubs, there is nothing more to say.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Cubs finalize the 2020 regular season with a trip on the Red Line to Guaranteed Rate Field. Here are the probable pitching matchups against the White Sox this weekend:
- Friday, September 25th: Yu Darvish vs. Dylan Cease
- Saturday, September 26th: Jon Lester vs. Dane Dunning
- Sunday, September 27th: TBD vs. Reynaldo Lopez
For postgame reactions and analysis, be sure to tune in to the Cubs On Tap podcast on all major platforms.