The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-3 tonight in a very similarly played game as last night.  Tonight the bullpen held on and the Pirates were able to win game two of the series.

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FINAL: Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Chicago Cubs 3

Takeaways

  • Ivan Nova pitched seven solid innings tonight in which he have up three earned runs on six hits.  He struck six batters and walked two, matching his season high.  In 14 starts this season, Nova has nine walks.  All three of his runs given up came via the home run, including a two-run shot to Jake Arrieta in the fifth inning.  Nova has given up 10 home runs on the season.  The fact that Nova has given up more home runs than walks this deep into the season is certainly interesting.  I’ll take it as a positive.  Nova got through his night on 94 pitches and has only eclipsed the 100 mark twice this season.  Overall, Nova had a pretty Nova night.
  • Gregory Polanco showed a flash in the pan tonight going 2-3 with a 2-run home run and double.  Polanco has been ice cold since returning from the DL a few weeks ago so it was nice to see him hit the ball with authority.  Andrew McCutchen added a solo home run in the sixth inning and now has 12 on the season.  With doubles from Jordy Mercer and Josh Bell, the Pirates totaled five extra base hits on the night.  Adam Frazier also had a clutch RBI single that gave the Pirates a 3-2 in the fifth inning.
  • Daniel Hudson was only able to record one out in the eight inning when he was replaced by Felipe Rivero.  From there on, Rivero slammed the door shut getting five outs on just 17 pitches.  He struck out one and walked one.  He didn’t give up a hit.  After last night’s bullpen debacle, Rivero closed out tonight’s game in easy fashion.  He now has an ERA of 0.72 on the season.

Throwaways

  • Francisco Cervelli, David Freese, and John Jaso combined to go 0-11 tonight with four strikeouts.  They were the only Pirate starters not to get a hit.
  • Jake Arrieta hit his first home run of the year.  Giving a home run to the opposing pitcher always hurts, but it hurts a little more when that pitcher is Arrieta.

Line Of the Day

Ivan Nova: 7.0 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 6 K

W – Nova (7-4, 2.91 ERA) L – Arrieta (6-5, 4.64 ERA) S – Rivero (3, 0.72 ERA)

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Up Next

Jameson Taillon will start for the Pirates tomorrow and oppose John Lackey for the rubber match of the series.  The game starts at 1:35.

Nathan Hursh

Nathan is a graduate of Duquesne University with a degree in journalism. He has been a lifelong Pirates fans and loves watching baseball. Along with baseball, Nathan also has a passion for watching football and basketball. When he is not sitting on his couch indulging in sports, Nathan likes to be active outside. Along with Twitter, he can also be found on Instagram at nathan_hursh.