Didn’t we see this game yesterday?
Cubs starter has a solid first inning, then falls apart in the second.
The Cubs get a solo home run, but not much else in the way of offense.
This is getting real old, real fast, and the Cubs — both players and management — are going to have to do something about it or this is going to be a looooooong season.
The Pirates defeated the Cubs 7-1, taking two of three in this series. That means the Pirates and Cubs are 3-3 on the year, with the Bucs outscoring the Cubs 26-19. In their other three games against the Reds? The Pirates got swept and outscored 30-8.
What’s wrong with this picture?
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in this game, just as they did Saturday, on a solo homer. This one was courtesy Javier Baez [VIDEO].
Javy’s hitting reasonably well this season so far, with three home runs and an .801 OPS, but he’s also struck out 15 times in 35 plate appearances and looked pretty bad doing it. The Cubs as a team have 45 hits in nine games and 89 strikeouts and only this game’s performance got them off the “twice as many K’s as hits” schneid.
Trevor Williams had a rough outing. Maybe he was over-amped pitching in his own home park. That’s probably all that should be said, hopefully he’s better next time.
The bullpen was doing pretty well until Ryan Tepera gave up a two-run homer to Wilmer Difo. Rex Brothers threw 1⅔ scoreless frames and Jason Adam contributed with another scoreless inning with two strikeouts. Adam now has seven strikeouts in 3⅔ innings this season. So that’s good, but at this point I’m really reaching for “good” to include in these recaps.
A possible Cubs rally in the third was stymied on this play, which was ruled a double play after review [VIDEO].
Willson Contreras was ruled to have violated the “slide rule”:
For those wondering about the Willson Contreras slide into second (deemed interference on a double play attempt), here's the relevant section in the MLB rulebook... pic.twitter.com/6AP6g9tD5d— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 11, 2021
I’m not going to argue about that. This involves an umpire’s interpretation of the rule and, well, this one went against the Cubs.
What I do want to call your attention to is that after Kris Bryant was hit by a pitch in the next inning, someone from the Cubs dugout was ejected.
Who? We had no idea. Why? Because umpires, unlike NFL and NHL officials, aren’t mic’d up to explain replay reviews or ejections of this sort. And I simply do not understand that, and neither does our own Sara Sanchez:
And now we have a mystery ejection? Baseball is wild.— Sara Sanchez (@BCB_Sara) April 11, 2021
Boog - "Somebody got ejected, because I saw them. We'll wait and see."
The Cubs broadcast team is literally going down the bench naming who is still there trying to figure out this ejection.— Sara Sanchez (@BCB_Sara) April 11, 2021
It's both hysterical and ridiculous.
Yes. It is exactly both of those things. A few minutes later:
5 minutes later & we still don’t know who was ejected. Come on, @mlb. Do better— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) April 11, 2021
Mike Borzello, #Cubs associate pitching, catching and strategy coach, has been ejected from the game.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) April 11, 2021
He got tossed after Bryant was hit by a pitch in the 4th.
Borzello was also ejected once last year, apparently after a beanball war with the Reds led to a bench-clearing incident in Cincinnati.
There is absolutely no reason why MLB umpires shouldn’t explain this to the crowd and the TV audience. Boog Sciambi, on the TV broadcast, made this exact point — these games are not just for the competitors, they are for the paying customers and those watching on TV.
Mic up the umpires. Don’t want them booed? So what? NFL and NHL referees get booed (that is, when fans are in stadiums and arenas). If MLB doesn’t want the precious sensibilities of umpires ruined by booing, then give the information to the stadium PA announcer. This applies to reviews as well as ejections. The people who pay the freight deserve to know what’s going on. I shouldn’t have to wait several minutes and go to Twitter to find out what’s happening at the ballpark I’m at, or watching on TV.
Well, that’s about enough about this game. Cubs hitters need to find their bats, and soon. Perhaps they will do so in Milwaukee, the next stop. The Cubs are flying back to O’Hare tonight, then will bus up to Milwaukee Monday morning. Adbert Alzolay will start for the Cubs in the series opener Monday against Freddy Peralta for the Brewers. Game time Monday is 6:40 p.m. CT and TV coverage is on Marquee Sports Network. The game’s also being carried on FS1 (no blackouts).