Pirates Postgame Commentary: September 2 vs Cubs

By COMON Network Team

Final Score – Chicago Cubs (22-14) 8 def. Pittsburgh Pirates (10-24) 2

WP: Kyle Hendricks (4-4) LP: Joe Musgrove (0-4) SV: N/A

Once again, the Pirates lost. Unlike last night’s extra-inning affair, the Cubs took care of the Pirates handily with an 8-2 win.  

The Pirates drew first blood in the bottom of the second on a solo shot by Colin Moran. The Cubs responded in the top of the fourth, however, taking the lead on a three-run shot by Javy Baez. Chicago added insurance in the seventh on a two-run single by Anthony Rizzo.  

The Bucs cut it to 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh on Anthony Alford’s second home run, but Chicago got that run back on a Willson Contreras single. Chiacgo added two more runs in the eighth to end any hope of a Pirates comeback.  

The series concludes tomorrow at 1:35.  

COMON Network Team Commentary

KYLE DAWSON

  • Colin Moran’s homer was about the only bright spot of the night right? Captain Red Beard clobbered that ball. Look out Allegheny. The exit velocity was 110.8, the hardest registered batted ball of the night. It goes 450 feet after being launched at 25 degrees. That ball had an xBA of 1.000. That’s not common. If anyone saw Luis Robert’s homer last night at Target Field, that had an xBA of .970. Javier Baez’ three-run moonshot? That was a .770 xBA. That tells you about all you need to know about that. Add Moran to the list of Pirates who have hit a ball 450+ feet during the Statcast Era: Josh Bell (6), Starling Marte (5), Jung Ho Kang (3), Gregory Polanco (2), Jordy Mercer, Jose Osuna, Pedro Alvarez and Sean Rodriguez (1).
  • I haven’t talked much about Cole Tucker this year and his offensive woes because he hasn’t been eye-piercing. He’s still learning the outfield, and I’m cool with that, but the bat is ugly right now. It’s funny. I was having a conversation at work today about Cole Tucker that prompted from something I heard on the radio about him. I’ve defended him a bunch because he’s closing in on about 250 career AB. It’s not enough to call him a bust. It’s not a big enough sample to really judge, but it’s getting close. His exit velocity is in the 1st percentile across the league, his xBA 23rd percentile, his xwOBA 2nd percentile, his hard hit percentage 5th percentile. That’s really bad. I really want to see him start to succeed at the plate. He’s a guy you want to root for and as a former first-rounder, for the Pirates’ sake, he needs to be a bit better, or a lot, depending if you’re willing to judge the career at the dish as a whole already. I don’t think I am quite yet.
  • Anthony Alford smoked his homer too: .980 xBA, 105.8 EV, 428 feet (Baseball Savant, Statcast)
  • Joe Musgrove looked really sharp through three in first start back from injury. Derek Holland started well before the wheels fell off a bit late in the 7th and 8th innings. Kyle Hendricks was really solid tonight too for the Cubbies.

Player of the Game – Kyle Hendricks (CHC)

JOE SMELTZER

  • Josh Bell is really bad  
  • Any Pirates fan has to be happy with the way Joe Musgrove performed tonight. Even against a Cubs lineup that frankly looks naked without Kris Bryant, Musgrove was in sync and did as well or better than anybody could have expected him to do. Hopefully it carries over.  
  • The Pirates are really bad.  

Player of the Game – Willson Contreras (CHC)

RYAN SIMPSON

Going to keep this short tonight:

  • Moran continues his case for best player on the team with a 450-foot bomb tonight. With how these last two games have gone, I wouldn’t be shocked if Moran gets ejected soon for arguing balls and strikes. Umps have been very questionable this series.  
  • Josh Bell may be the worst player on the team. I would trust my 65-year-old dad at the plate in a big situation over Bell right now. Only hit tonight was a little squeaker to the left side which was only made possible by the shift.
  • Stallings’ framing tonight was ludicrous. He was doing all he could to steal strike for Musgrove and Holland to keep runners off the bases. On the flip, three errors tonight did not help the pitchers out at all.
  • Musgrove did not look awful is his first start back from the IL. I don’t know if I pull him in the 4th with two guys there, but Shelton has done a terrible job of managing the staff.
  • New guy Anthony Alford hit a bomb tonight while going two-for-four in his first Pirates start. Alford could get the starting job in right field if Polanco continues to suck. All for that idea.
  • Man this team is hard to watch. Watching 26 more games if going to be a dreadful time.

Player of the Game – Kyle Hendricks (CHC)

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