Game One Hundred Fifty-Eight – Cubs 4, Pirates 8
WP – Jameson Taillon (5-4) LP – Jake Arrieta (18-8) Save – None
For just the fourth time in 18 games this season the Cubs lost to the Pirates. Jake Arrieta did not have it Wednesday night at PNC Park and was hit rather hard. Arrieta lasted five innings and struggled against the Pirates for the third straight start this season.
Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a short-lived lead with a solo homer in the first inning. The Cubs managed only four hits on the night and saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
John Jaso had a career night but not as good as the Pirates official scorer made it out to be. Jaso was credited with the first cycle in PNC Park history. Jaso was the difference in the game. Jaso went 4-for-4 with a double, a triple, a home run, two runs scored and five RBI. And it was his three-run homer in the fourth off Jake Arrieta that broke a 1-1 tie. And the Pirates never looked back.
The Cubs finally took exception with the Pirates throwing at and hitting batters. The Pirates decided to retaliate for Jake Arrieta hitting Matt Joyce in the foot with a breaking ball in the fourth inning. Jared Hughes hit Addison Russell with one out in the seventh and the Pirates enjoying a 7-1 lead at the time. The Cubs went on to score three runs in the seventh and made a game out of a blowout.
Pedro Strop hit Sean Rodriguez leading off the seventh. Both benches were warned and the Pirates were forced to stop throwing at Cubs hitters.
Jake Arrieta had a bad night first pitching to Miguel Montero and then to Willson Contreras in the fifth. Arrieta struggled with his command and mechanics after the first inning. Arrieta appeared to lose it after not getting calls in the first inning and arguing with home plate umpire, Chris Guccione. Arrieta was rattled to the point that Anthony Rizzo had to calm him down. And the words between Arrieta and the ump were heated enough to the point Miguel Montero had to step in between the two to keep Guccione from walking further toward the mound.
Arrieta allowed the Pirates to tie the game in the first inning. Arrieta gave up back-to-back singles to Adam Frazier and Josh Bell. A wild pitch allowed Frazier to move to third. Bell stayed at first and the poor baserunning hurt his team. Andrew McCutchen rapped into a 6-4-3 double play, Frazier scored and tied the game.
The Pirates took the lead for good in the fourth inning. Arrieta was effective in the second and third innings. But the Pirates started squaring up Arrieta in the third. And if not for the Cubs’ defense, the Pirates might have put more runs on the board against Arrieta.
Jake Arrieta hit Joyce to start the fourth. Sean Rodriguez singled to left center. With runners on the corners, Arrieta hung a 2-2 pitch to Jaso and he pulled it to the stands in right. Jaso’s three-run shot gave the Pirates a 4-1 lead.
Joe Maddon left Arrieta in the for the fifth and it did not get any better. The Pirates scored three more runs, all with two outs after three straight doubles and a single.
Sean Rodriguez doubled to left. Chris Coghlan raced back to the wall and crashed into it as the ball hit off the top of the wall. Coghlan hurt himself and Rodriguez ended up at second.
Coghlan left the game with what was announced as a mild left ankle sprain. Albert Almora Jr. replaced Coghlan in left.
When play resumed, Jaso doubled to right. Rodriguez scored and Jaso scored on a double from David Freese. Eric Fryer singled to center and made it 7-1 Pirates. Arrieta struck out Taillon swinging to end the inning.
Jake Arrieta did not go back out for the sixth. Arrieta was charged with seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and a HBP. Arrieta struck out four and made 103 pitches, 63 for strikes, in five innings.
Mike Montgomery pitched a scoreless sixth.
The Pirates added a run in the seventh after Pedro Strop hit Sean Rodriguez and he scored on a ‘triple’ from John Jaso.
Jaso launched the ball to deep center. The ball stuck in the base of the wall. Almora Jr. made a bad throw. The ball was nowhere near Addison Russell. Jaso had stopped around second. When he saw the ball get away, he moved to third and was given a triple. It should have been a double and an error.
Hector Rondon closed out the seventh and Aroldis Chapman retired all three batters he faced in the eighth.
The Cubs offense was really non-existent Wednesday night before Maddon started emptying his bench in the sixth inning. The Cubs managed only four hits but scored four runs due to the Pirates defense and need for retaliation.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a home run) tied a career-high with his 32nd longball of the season in the first inning. That was the Cubs only hit until the seventh inning.
Jared Hughes replaced Jameson Taillon in the seventh. After Heyward popped out to Rodriguez at short for the first out, Hughes hit Addison Russell (0-for-3 with a HBP and a run scored). Albert Almora Jr. (0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored) walked.
Willson Contreras (1-for-2 with a double and a run scored) hit a routine grounder to third. Freese fielded the ball and threw it into right field. Russell scored, 7-2 Pirates. Almora Jr. and Contreras went to second and third with one out.
Tommy La Stella (1-for-2 with two RBI) singled to center. Almora Jr. and Contreras scored and made it a 7-4 game at the time. Contreras had a double in the ninth for the Cubs’ fourth and final hit.
It was a bad night for Jake Arrieta and a rough game for the Cubs that hopefully did not cost them Chris Coghlan for any length of time.
With Wednesday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 101-57 on the season.
Weather permitting … the Cubs wrap up the series and season series with the Pirates on Thursday night (6:05pm CDT). Rob Zastryzny is scheduled to face Ivan Nova.