Heading into this series, everyone said these three games would be a great measuring stick to see how good the Pirates are. Well, I’d say the measuring stick was snapped right in half by Anthony Rizzo‘s bat.
The Pirates fell behind 3-0 early and showed no resistance in dropping another game to the Cubs 6-2 as Chicago completed the sweep at PNC Park this afternoon.
Juan Nicasio labored through a long first and second inning before serving up a three-run bomb to Ben Zobrist in the top of the third after a McCutchen error would have ended the inning. At the rate Nicasio was moving, it would have taken him five hours to get through 6 or 7 innings. All in all, he ended with 4.1 innings with four runs allowed, but only one earned.
There wasn’t much to write home about in this for the black and gold. Matt Joyce continued his season as the best fourth outfielder in baseball with a pinch hit two-run home run. It was Joyce’s fourth homer this season and he’s now slashing .371/.511/.771. So that’s OK. Besides that, this game was a snooze fest.
As for Rizzo, he decided instead of hitting two doubles in this game, he’d hit a double AND a home run. How good was Rizzo in this series? He had seven hits in three games (7-for-14) with five doubles, one home run and six runs scored.
I won’t sugarcoat it—this series sucked ass. It was a cold reminder that the Cubs are pretty damn good and winning the NL Central may even be tougher this year than 2015. But you want some good news? The Pirates are 15-13, still two games above .500. Jung Ho Kang is close to returning to hopefully add some power to this lineup and Taillon and Glasnow are coming soon. Oh, and we don’t have to see Arrieta, Rizzo and the rest of the Cubs for a full week.