Game One Hundred Forty-Three – Cubs 4, Pirates 5
WP – Tony Watson (4-1) LP – Justin Grimm (3-5) Save – Mark Melancon (46)
The Cubs scored three times in the seventh inning and tied the game at four on a pinch-hit double by Tommy La Stella and two wild pitches from Joakim Soria. Justin Grimm walked the leadoff batter in the eighth inning. Pinch-runner Pedro Florimon stole second, went to third on a Miguel Montero throwing error and scored on a sac fly by Starling Marte as the Cubs lost the opener of the four-game series Tuesday afternoon.
The Cubs put a run on the board in the first inning against Gerrit Cole. Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) singled, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Chris Stewart. Chris Coghlan (0-for-1 with a HBP and a sac fly RBI) hit a sac fly into left center that allowed Fowler to tag and score. The lead did not last long.
Jason Hammel had a bad outing. Hammel did not look comfortable on the mound during his short 3 2/3 inning outing. Hammel had little to no command in the first inning and gave the Pirates three runs on two hits with two walks and a hit by pitch. Hammel settled down somewhat in the second inning but it was obvious that it would be another long day for the bullpen early on.
Jason Hammel was lifted with two outs in the fourth inning. Hammel gave up four runs on five hits with three walks, a HBP and five strikeouts. Hammel made 72 pitches, 40 for strikes.
Trevor Cahill kept the Cubs in the game. Cahill picked up the last out in the fourth and turned in a total of two innings of scoreless ball. Cahill gave up just one hit and struck out four without walking a batter. Zac Rosscup recorded the final out in the sixth and Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
Justin Grimm walked Pedro Alvarez to start the eighth inning. Clint Hurdle had speedy Pedro Florimon run for Alvarez. Florimon stole second on the first pitch to Starling Marte and went to second when a low throw from Miguel Montero skipped past Starlin Castro into center field. Marte lined a 2-1 pitch into left, Florimon tagged and scored the winning run.
The Cubs managed only six hits and took advantage of the mistakes the Pirates made. Three of the four runs scored after a Pirates error and two wild pitches.
Tommy La Stella (1-for-1 with a double and a RBI) delivered the Cubs only hit with runners in scoring position that produced a run Tuesday afternoon. La Stella batted for Rosscup in the seventh and doubled in Miguel Montero (2-for-4 with a run scored).
With the loss in game one, the Cubs slipped to 82-61 on the season and five back of the Pirates in the Wild Card race.
Dexter Fowler led off the game with an infield single to the hole at short (3-1 pitch). After Schwarber flied out to deep right, Fowler took off for second on a 1-1 pitch to Coghlan. Chris Stewart airmailed his throw. The ball ended up in center and Fowler ended up at third. With the infield in, Chris Coghlan lifted a 2-2 pitch out to center. Fowler tagged and scored, 1-0 Cubs. Anthony Rizzo worked a full count before flying out to left to end the inning. Gerrit Cole made 20 pitches, 11 for strikes, in the first inning.
Jason Hammel took the mound in the first with a 1-0 lead that quickly disappeared. Hammel had nothing in the first inning. To say his command was bad would be an understatement.
Hammel walked Gregory Polanco on four pitches and hit Neil Walker with a 0-1 offering. Six pitches in, the Pirates had runners on first and second with no outs.
Andrew McCutchen smoked Hammel’s first pitch into left. Polanco scored and tied the game at one. With runners on first and second, Kang popped out to Rizzo for the first out. Hammel walked Pedro Alvarez on four pitches to load the bases.
Travis Snider grounded a 1-2 pitch back up the middle. Russell dove and thought he stopped the ball. Russell went through the motion of flipping the ball to Castro. Walker and McCutchen scored, 3-1 Pirates. Hammel struck out Jordy Mercer swinging (2-2 pitch) and Chris Stewart lined out to second base to end the inning.
Jason Hammel made 28 pitches in the first, 14 for strikes, and the Pirates scored three runs on two hits with two walks and a hit by pitch.
The Pirates led 3-1 after one inning.
The Cubs were not able to push across any baserunners in the second and third. The Cubs got their hits against Cole but not with runners in scoring position.
Gerrit Cole had his best inning in the fourth. A rather quick 1-2-3 on 11 pitches, 66 total for Cole after four innings, 46 for strikes.
Hammel caught Chris Stewart looking at a 2-2 pitch for the first out in the fourth. Gerrit Cole singled to center. A wild pitch on the first offering to Polanco allowed Cole to move to second. Polanco rolled out to second (3-1 pitch). Cole went to third and trotted home when Neil Walker doubled off the base of the wall in right. With the Pirates leading 4-1, Maddon went to the pen for Trevor Cahill. McCutchen grounded out to Bryant at third to end the inning.
It was 4-1 Pirates after four innings.
Trevor Cahill kept the Pirates from tacking on in the fifth and sixth innings. Joe Maddon had Zac Rosscup face Gregory Polanco with two down in the sixth. Rosscup retired Polanco on a grounder to Rizzo for the third out.
The Pirates had a 4-1 lead after six innings.
Gerrit Cole caught Bryant looking for the first out in the seventh. Miguel Montero pulled a 0-1 pitch into right off the glove of a diving Pedro Alvarez. Starlin Castro reached on an infield single. Castro pounded a 0-2 pitch back up the middle and that hit off Cole’s leg. Maddon went to his bench for a pinch-hitter for Rosscup.
Tommy La Stella drove a 1-1 pitch into the left field corner. Montero scored, 4-2 Pirates. Castro held at third on a double by La Stella. Clint Hurdle decided that was enough for Gerrit Cole and brought in Joakim Soria with one down and runners on second and third.
Addison Russell hit a soft liner to short for the second out.
The first pitch to Fowler got past Stewart, Castro scampered in and scored … 4-3 Pirates. La Stella moved up to third. Soria walked Fowler and put runners on the corners for Schwarber. Soria appeared to stall the game. With lefty Tony Watson warming in the pen, Soria made three throws to first. Fowler did not have a big lead. Soria finally pitched to Schwarber and a 2-2 offering also got past Stewart, La Stella raced in and scored the tying run. Schwarber struck out swinging to end the inning.
Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
After seven complete, the game was tied at four.
Justin Grimm walked Pedro Alvarez to start the eighth. Clint Hurdle had Pedro Florimon run for Alvarez. Florimon swiped second on the first pitch to Starling Marte. Montero should not have thrown the ball. He did not have a shot at Florimon. The ball skipped past Castro and into center. Florimon went to third with no outs. Castro must keep the ball in front of him and did not. A walk and two physical errors put the go ahead run on third base.
Starling Marte lined a 2-1 pitch to Austin Jackson in left. Florimon tagged and scored with an unnecessary headfirst slide … 5-4 Pirates. Mercer grounded out to short and Stewart struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Pirates took a 5-4 lead into the ninth. And Mark Melancon retired the Cubs in order to end the game.
Jon Lester faces J.A. Happ in the nightcap of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader (6:05pm CDT).