Welcome to Takeaways & Throwaways. Shortly after every Pittsburgh Pirates game, come to Pirates Breakdown to see our flash recap format. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the game, without making you read the same boring recap you can see anywhere else.
FINAL: Pirates – 8, Cubs -7
- Tyler Glasnow was much less erratic today. He obviously didn’t have a great start by any means but he followed up a five-walk performance with a two walk, seven strikeout outing. Baseball is a funny game in that a player can have more ugly numbers but actually show tangible signs of improvement.
- Andrew McCutchen. Does anything else need to be said? McCutchen blasted the go-ahead three-run homer with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. Two of McCutchen’s last three hits from the past three days have been home runs. With the dinger, McCutchen passed Barry Bonds for fourth place on the Pirates’ all-time home run list with his 177th career home run.
- The Pirates blasted a season-high four home runs, three of which came in the seventh and eighth innings. McCutchen’s blast got lots of talk, but Francisco Cervelli, Starling Marte and Josh Harrison also went deep. Cervelli’s second home run of the season is already better than his total last season and Marte is on a good pace to surpass last season’s total of nine home runs. The Pirates may have benefitted from the Chicago wind, but for a team that entered Saturday second-to-last in home run to fly ball ratio at 5.8 percent, it’s a good look.
- Tyler Glasnow’s start was worthy of both categories. He wasn’t erratic but he also allowed a lot of very hard contact. The first inning once again proved to be troublesome as he allowed four runs (three earned) and allowed three extra-base hits in the inning. While he showed signs of improvement, the big leagues aren’t the place to hang your hat on small leaps forward.
- Adam Frazier started at shortstop for the first time in his major-league career and made a throwing error in the first. Frazier’s throwing error with one out in the first allowed Ben Zobrist to reach first base and extended the inning and allowed two more runs to score. With Jordy Mercer not starting, Frazier got the start at shortstop but moved to second base when Mercer entered the game in the sixth inning. Shortstop might not be for Frazier, so the Pirates need to figure out who will play there when Mercer sits or gets hurt.
- Tony Watson gave up a solo shot to Kris Bryant in the ninth inning before preserving the save. As Greg Brown said on the ROOT Sports broadcast, of Watson’s 23 saves, only five have been “three up, three down” ninth innings. Watson blew a save during the Pirates last visit to Wrigley Field back in late August last season when he gave up a home run to Jorge Soler. Watson faced five batters on Saturday but ultimately got the job done for his second save in as many days.
Line Of The Day:
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow has earned the line of the day. The positive was he only walked two batters compared to the disaster that was his previous start against the Reds. Overall, he went five innings, allowed six runs (four earned) struck out seven and walked two. Far from a great outing but much, much better than his nightmarish start against the Reds.
Vote in our Player of the Game Poll:
McCutchen’s three-run blast gave the Pirates a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, but he wasn’t the only major contributor to Saturday’s win. Vote now!
The Pirates go for the series sweep against the Cubs as Jameson Taillon toes the rubber against Jon Lester. Taillon has been the Pirates most consistent starter of the season, but he’s only gotten two runs of support from his offense. This one has “pitchers duel” written all over it.