Pirates rough up Zach Davies en route to win in Pittsburgh
In 5 appearances in 2019 against the Pirates, Zach Davies showed he had their number. Davies was 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 5 appearances against the Pirates when he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
In the third game of the 2021 season, Davies continued some of that success, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks with 5 strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
But David Ross was quick to dismiss that that equated to automatic success for Davies against the Pirates. He was proven right as the Pirates got to Davies early en route to an 8-2 win over the Cubs in Pittsburgh.
“I trust in him, he does have history here, but there’s a lot of new players on that other side that he wasn’t in the [National League] Central last year and he didn’t face,” Ross said. “Pittsburgh is a younger team. So, we take each game, and we don’t put a whole lotta stock in what happened three years ago, two years ago. Each year is unique and different for each player, hitter and pitcher.”
Saturday was proof of that.
Davies cruised through a 1-2-3, 9-pitch 1st inning, but then the Pirates figured out Davies. The Pirates posted 7 runs in the 2nd innings, collecting 5 hits, drawing 3 walks and forcing Davies out of the game after just 1.2 innings of work.
“It really got out of hand in the 2nd inning and that’s something as a starting pitcher that you can’t do, put your team out of the game so much as I did,” Davies said. “That’s baseball. You gotta go back to the drawing board. You work and next time out you make quality pitches and you compete and you try and give your team a chance to win.”
Ross turned to Alec Mills who pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of Davies, before Ross turned to Dillon Maples, Jason Adam and Brandon Workman to finish out the game.
Cubs happy for Victor Caratini
On his off day, Ross used some of his free time on Friday night to watch some baseball and, like much of the baseball world tuned in to watch the Padres and Rangers game as San Diego native Joe Musgrove chased the first no-hitter in Padres history.
When the Padres got the final out, Caratini raced towards Musgrove and jumped into his arms in celebration. Ross grabbed his phone and sent him a congratulatory message.
“I did text him and he texted me back and I was super happy for him,” Ross said. “I saw the emotion on his face jumping up and hugging joe. Seemed really neat.”
Caratini, who caught Alec Mills’ no-hitter last season, was the 10th catcher dating back to 1900 who started in consecutive no-hitters thrown in baseball. Caratini was the first of that group to catch the consecutive no-hitters for different teams.
David Bote, who started at third base for Mills’ no-no, went to bed early and missed Musgrove’s no-hitter, but woke up to the news.
“[Caratini’s] such a great guy,” Bote said. “So, I mean, anything that he gets, and success, is incredible for him. Great teammate, great hard worker.”
Alternate site update
Saturday was scheduled to be the first game at the Cubs’ alternate site down in South Bend, Ind. against the Tigers’ alternate site, but the game was cancelled in the bottom of the 1st due to rain.
Austin Romine, who the Cubs signed this offseason to backup Willson Contreras, caught an inning and hit second as he continues to rehab from a right knee sprain. Nico Hoerner was leading off and playing shortstop and catching prospect Miguel Amaya was batting fifth and playing first base.
Hoerner grounded out to lead off the game, Romine singled to right field and Nick Martini doubled to right field before the game was called.