Well this should be a quick one. Basically to wrap up the game, Francisco Liriano threw two pitches in the first inning to give up 2 runs while Jake Arrieta had to throw 20 pitches to get a one, two, three scoreless inning. This microcosm explains the Pirates 6-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs this afternoon.
Liriano was a walks machine again today as he allowed five walks in the context. Only 60 of his 111 pitches were for strikes which helped lead to the 4 earned runs in just 5.2 innings today. Oh but don’t worry, the bullpen was able to make their daily contribution the the opponents scoreboard. Corey Luebke came in for relief of Liriano and allowed 1 earned run on three walks and a hit without even recording an out. It’s no wonder the scouts were buzzing about his stuff in Spring Training.
Arquimedes Caminero became the third pitcher to enter the 6th inning and finally provided the out to end it. He would then go on to pitch the 7th inning and allow an Albert Almora, Jr. RBI single to provide the final score of the afternoon. He would end the game pitching 1.1 innings and giving up an earned run on two hits and two walks. Rob Scahill was able to finish out the game without allowing a score, but obviously it was over by then.
The offense was shut down all game. It looked as if the Pirates might have been able to get at Arrieta early when Jordy Mercer and Chris Stewart each got a hit with no outs, but the Pirates weren’t able to capitalize. Andrew McCutchen was the only other player in the game to get another hit after the initial two, proving just how bad of a game this was.
Jake Arrieta was as dominate as ever even though it took him 112 pitches to get through 6 innings. He managed to only give up two hits and three walks and completely overmatched the Pirate hitters with 11 strikeouts.
Matt Szczur and Albert Almaro, Jr. had a multi hit game today. Since Almaro’s call up on June 7 he has batted .429 with five RBI’s. It’s just another fine example of the depth and talent this Cubs team is packed with.
Tomorrow the series will continue as a couple of Jon’s will square up on the mound. Jon Niese (4.60 ERA) will take on Jon Lester (1.89 ERA) at 8:15 PM in Wrigley Field. Here’s hoping to get back to .500.