There Was No Doubt About It

A Pittsburgh Pirates Blog

Better, But Still Bad: Cubs 4, Pirates 3

06.19.16 Posted by

There’s something really off-putting about a game like this. Obviously, losing 6-0 and never really being in it is worse, both for morale and for any forward-looking analysis of the team’s underlying skill level. But to lose a different way the very next day creates a weird sort of frustration, too.

The Pirates did not get kicked around yesterday: they jumped out to a 3-1 lead on the strength of a homer, an RBI single, and a HBP with the bases loaded. Getting only three runs out of the three things I just described is fairly remarkable. And that mattered, because the Cubs scored just enough to win: four runs, three of which came on solo home runs. Niese, like Liriano, continues to be dogged by a bizarrely high HR/FB rate, though he’s done well enough apart from that that most of them are solo shots. But when you give up three, that’s not much consolation. Especially when one of those is from David Ross, who’s pretty mediocre against almost every other team he plays, but has a 1.400 OPS against the Bucs in 13 games.

All you really need to know about the Cubs this year is that they lost their young catcher, replaced him with a 39-year-old, and that replacement is already two-thirds of the way to his career high in WAR. Like I said: good and lucky.

Filed under: game recaps, Jonathan Niese