Pirates Postgame Commentary: September 1 vs Cubs

By COMON Network Team

Final Score – Chicago Cubs (21-14) 8 def. Pittsburgh Pirates (10-23) 7 (F/11)

WP: Jeremy Jeffress (3-1) LP: Kyle Crick (0-1) SV: N/A

In a see-saw battle at PNC Park, the last-place Pirates fell to the first-place Chicago Cubs, 8-7 in extra innings at PNC Park.  

The Cubs got the scoring started almost instantly on a lead-off home run by Ian Happ. Chicago added on in the top of the second when Jason Kipnis drew a bases loaded walk. The Pirates cut the deficit to one in the bottom half on an RBI groundout by Adam Frazier, but the Cubs got the run back in the fourth on a Kipnis single. Chicago added more insurance in their next at bat with three runs, the last two coming on a two-run homer by Kyle Schwarber. But the Bucs fought back, with the debuting Ke’Bryan Hayes leading the charge.  

In the sixth, Hayes doubled in Jacob Stallings to start a four-run inning. In the eighth, Hayes hit his first big-league homer to tie the game at six. The game went into extra innings, where the Cubs took the lead on a sac fly by Jason Heyward. The Pirates tied the game again in the bottom of the tenth, but Chicago took the lead for good in the 11th.  

The teams will meet again tomorrow at 7:05 p.m.

COMON Network Team Commentary

KYLE DAWSON

  • Woof. Ke’Bryan Hayes SMOKED his first career hit. It was hit at 108.5 mph off the bat with an xBA of nearly .700. His second at bat, the strikeout, wasn’t a bad trip to the plate either. Then he hits the game-tying homer like a minute after the game resumes from the rain delay. That ball had an EV of 101.5 and an xBA of .820. I don’t want to judge things off one game, but Hayes looks like one of those guys you dream of in a baseball player from a calmness point of view. Bryan Reynolds is that way. Guys like that are a bit cold-blooded. They don’t let a bad result get to them or the game to get too big. We know what we’re getting with the glove. I mean the guy is a three-time MiLB Gold Glover… by the way that means he was named the best defensive 3B AT ANY LEVEL in the minors three times. Good to see a pretty successful start for Hayes.
  • That homer reminded me of one hit by Pedro Alvarez in 2012 in Colorado. The Bucs trailed 4-1 going into a delay that lasted a good bit of time. Alvarez promptly tied the game at 10:10 p.m. local time in Colorado after the game resumed at 10:09 p.m. Tonight, Hayes did the same thing for his first big-league homer. What a moment. That was awesome.
  • Geoff Hartlieb has become a fireman, eh? The out recorded to get out of the jam in the seventh created by our old friend Dovydas made hitters 0-for-11 with RISP against Hartlieb this year. On that note too, and I know he got the two outs (he almost threw away a comebacker), I’m not sure why Neverauskas is the guy Shelty went to there after the four-run inning.
  • I don’t get it, ladies and gentlemen. I just don’t. Coming into the night, Jacob Stallings was 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The Cubs walked Josh Bell (why?) to get to Stallings and the Pirates have him attempt to lay down a sac bunt. Of course he wasn’t able to do it, and had his chance reduced to getting just one strike to swing and then punched out. Why are we still playing like it’s 1940? If the bunt gets down, the Cubs walk the bases loaded and keep the double play in order. It makes zero sense to bunt there. ZERO. I’m so sick of watching teams do that OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
  • My goodness… the base running by Hayes. I might buy his jersey tonight. He had a phenomenal secondary in the 10th from third and busted ass down the line to get in ahead of the flip home on the chopper to tie it.
  • Josh Bell is getting hard to watch. That’s all there. His defensive play doesn’t even deserve words and he can’t hit right now either. Sinking ship.

Player of the Game – Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT)

JOE SMELTZER

  • Obviously, Ke’Bryan Hayes MLB debut went better than anybody could have anticipated. While I think Hayes’ career will end up being solid, but not specular, at the bare minimum, the kid is giving fans a reason to watch and a reason to care about the 2020 Pirates. Him hitting a piss missile off a possible future Hall of Famer leaves us wondering what he’ll do next.  
  • Josh Bell is absolutely brutal to watch. His regression over the past year can’t be attributed to injuries, either. Maybe the league has just figured him out. When pitchers are getting paid millions of dollars, that happens sometimes. Oh, and he’s absolutely atrocious defensively too.
  • I didn’t think I’d end up ripping bench coach Don Kelly in this section, but here we are. After Derek Shelton was ejected for rightfully confronting home plate umpire John Trumpane and his hogwash strike zone, Kelly took over as manager for the rest of the night. In the bottom of the ninth, with runners on first and second, nobody out and the Pirates best hitter, Jacob Stallings, at the plate, Kelly decided to have Stallings bunt. He ended up striking out, the Cubs got out of the inning and eventually won the game. In Kelly’s defense, it’s not like Shelton would have done things any differently, but still. If a good hitter is in the box, let him hit.  

Player of the Game – Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT)

DONNY CHEDRICK

  • The big bats versus the Bucs. Two of the most lethal power hitters in the Cubs’ lineup and quite frankly, the whole league, both homered Tuesday night. Ian Happ hit a leadoff jack to get Chicago on the board immediately and Kyle Schwarber opened the game up in the fifth with a two-run shot, making the score 6-1. It was the tenth homer for both guys, but the Battlin’ Bucs wouldn’t go down quietly — rallying to tie the game in eighth thanks to their bright new star.
  • In the words of the great Don Wilson — “Hayes.” The Pirates’ number two prospect made his long-awaited MLB debut on Tuesday night, starting at third base and batting seventh. The multi-time MiLB Gold Glover made a few plays at the hot corner, but also had a very memorable night at the plate. In the fifth inning he jumpstarted a Pirates’ rally by clobbering a baseball into left field for his first major league hit and RBI. In the eighth, after a rain delay, Hayes homered to center to tie the game at six. What a breath a fresh air this kid could be. Not necessarily making magic happen this season, but getting fans excited for what they could see in 2021.
  • Credit the back end of the bullpen tonight. After a tough start for Chad Kuhl and Tyler Bashlor getting bashed by Kyle Schwarber, the next three guys out of the pen kept the Pirates’ hopes alive and helped take the game to extra innings. Dovydas Neverauskas went one and two thirds scoreless with two strikeouts, Geoff Hartlieb got the next four outs and Richard Rodriguez settled into the ninth inning — allowing a hit, but no runs and collecting a K. This bullpen has gotten a lot of blame this year, and sometimes it’s been deserved, but tonight was a good one for these three.

Player of the Game – Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT)

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