The Chicago Cubs played their second game of the season on what was a cold night in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. The weather in Pittsburgh was certainly cold with a wind-chill that put the game-time temperature below the freezing point, but the Cubs offense may have been colder. The Cubs offense was only able to muster two hits as they were held scoreless in their loss to the Pirates on Wednesday night.
The Pitching: Edwin Jackson made his regular-season debut for the Cubs and it was impressive despite lasting only five innings. Jackson began the game by the striking out the side in the first inning and held the Pirates scoreless for the first four innings. The Pirates broke through against Jackson in the fifth inning as the team score two runs. Jackson was pulled after the fifth inning. Jackson’s line on the night was five innings pitched while allowing two runs on three hits and one base on balls while striking out five batters. With the exception of Michael Bowden, the rest of the Cubs bullpen–Hector Rondon, Shawn Camp, and Hisanori Takahashi–managed to keep the Pirates scoreless.
Wandy Rodriguez was the starting pitcher for the Pirates and was strong in his season debut. Rodriguez pitched 6 and 2/3 innings of shutout baseball while surrendering two hits and striking out 6 Cubs’ batters. Pirates’ reliever Tony Watson managed hold the Cubs scoreless until Jason Grilli earned the save in the ninth inning.
The Offense: The Chicago Cubs offense was non-existent against the Pirates on Monday. Left fielder Alfonso Soriano and Second baseman Alberto Gonzalez were the only two players to get in the hit column for the Cubs on Wednesday. The Cubs had a bases loaded opportunity in the Seventh inning with one out and Brent Lillibridge and Gonzalez due up. Lillibridge struck out looking after a 10-pitch at bat and Gonzalez flew out to end the inning.
For the Pirates, their offense was cold but managed to score enough runs to support the stellar pitching that they received. Andrew McCutchen, Gaby Sanchez, and Starling Marte each had an RBI on Wednesday. McCutchen had his second double of the season.
- As the season progresses, don’t be surprised if opposing teams are hesitant to run on Cubs’ catcher Welington Castillo. Castillo managed to throw Marte out, who was attempting to steal second base. Castillo’s arm strength has been one of the better aspects of his catching skills.
- Against the left-handed Rodriguez, Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum penciled David Sappelt in center field over David DeJesus and Scott Hairston in right field over Nate Schierholtz. Sappelt and Hairston figure to receive playing time against left-handed pitchers as the season progresses.