Sigh. Five games is probably too soon, right? Too soon to worry that the next verse is the same as the last? That perhaps someone just rearranged the deck chairs on the titanic? After coming out of the box with 14 runs over two games to start the season (against two very good Brewers starters), they’ve managed a scant eight runs over their last three games. They have one win in those three games, but it’s hard not to feel like we’ve seen this show before.
It’s early, so I’m still not going too far down that rabbit hole. But four runs in two games in Pittsburgh is just not going to cut it. They managed six hits and three walks against three pitchers over nine innings. None of those pitchers are even someone I recalled having pitched against the team before.
The only two bright spots were Willson Contreras, who scored both of the runs, and Seiya Suzuki who got on base two more times and drove in yet another run. Giving credit where it is due, the bullpen held the Pirates scoreless over 4⅓ innings after Kyle Hendricks registered another in a line of poor April starts going back years. The good news is that he has generally course-corrected and been significantly better after April. The bad news is that the correction appears less effective each year. It is an unfortunate reality that Kyle has a very thin margin of error with his less than overpowering stuff. If he doesn’t have location and deception working, he’s a very beatable pitcher. Today was one of those days.
We go to the numbers.
Game 5, April 13: Pirates 6, Cubs 2 (3-2)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Superhero: Seiya Suzuki (.055). 1-3, BB, RBI
- Hero: Michael Rucker (.031). 2⅓ IP (6 batters), 2k
- Sidekick: Nico Hoerner (.030). 1-3
- Billy Goat: Kyle Hendricks (-.403). 3⅔ IP (21 batters), 7H, 4BB, 6R, 4K (L 0-1)
- Goat: Jason Heyward (-.081). 0-4, K
- Kid: Patrick Wisdom (-.072). 0-4, 2K
WPA Play of the Game: With two on and two outs in the first inning, Ben Gamel hit a home run off of Kyle Hendricks to give the Pirates a 3-1 lead. (.285)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Willson Contreras also had a two-out homer in the first. His came with the bases empty. (.107)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Up Next: The first game of a four-game set in Colorado. The Cubs will send Justin Steele to the mound looking for his second win.