Kyle Hendricks turns in another quality start, but Cubs fall to Pirates 2-1
Cameron Maybin and the Cubs have every reason to be frustrated about the situation their offense is in. Except, they’re not.
They’re focused on the next day and getting better, knowing the true potential of their offense, even if it didn’t quite show in Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Pirates.
“That’s baseball,” Maybin said. “Things can turn around in a blink of an eye. So I think the biggest thing is we have to embrace the situation. That is that we’re still going to be in the playoffs.
“Tonight you saw a lot of balls hit hard and that’s the game. If we continue to try to have professional at-bats, continue to try to pass the baton, so to speak, I think we’ll be fine. But we just gotta keep good energy and not get down on ourselves right now. I think everybody in that locker room knows that they can swing it better and they expect to.”
Kyle Hendricks turned in another terrific start.
But his lone mistakes, a pair of pitches to lead off the ball game, were enough to give the Pirates the win. Adam Frazier and Ke’Bryan Hayes laced back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 1st to spark Pittsburgh. All of the scoring was done in the 1st inning. Rizzo hit a home run with one out to give the Cubs the lead.
It was the second time in Hendricks’ career that he had allowed back-to-back home runs to lead off a game, the other time a 3-1 loss to the Rockies on May 1, 2018 when Charlie Blackmon and David Dahl homered off him.
“Today, I wasn’t very good the first few innings,” Hendricks said. “That can’t happen early with Rizz getting us the 1-0 lead. Even though we’ve been struggling, I gotta go up there and put up a zero to give us a chance to build on that lead.”
It spoiled a solid outing out of Hendricks, who went 7.2 innings, allowing 7 hits and striking out 3. The top of the Pirates’ order found the most success against Hendricks, with Frazier, Hayes and Colin Moran going a combined 6-for-11. The rest of the Pirates lineup was 1-for-17 against him.
Rizzo’s home run was the only real mistake Williams made, as he struck out 4 and allowed just 3 hits in 5.2 innings of work.
The Cubs struggled to get timely hits. They finished 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
“I thought we hit the ball extremely hard tonight and didn’t have a whole lot to show for it,” David Ross said.
“You can’t control where the ball goes. You barrel balls up, hit it extremely hard right at guys, not a whole lot you can control with that.”
Maybin had a pair of doubles in the game as he finished 2-for-4. He had a 1-out double in the 4th, reached third on a Javy Báez fielder’s choice, but Jason Kipnis struck out to end the threat. He doubled with 2 outs in the 6th, Jason Heyward walked, but Báez hit a long fly ball to center field to end the threat.
The Cubs will turn to Alec Mills (5-4, 4.14 ERA) in the series finale as they look to salvage a series split. Coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. on Marquee Sports Network.