Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/11/24): Pirates 10, Cubs 9 – Cubs Lose After Walking All Over Pirates

The Cubs and the Pirates played a truly bizarre game on Saturday that featured a highly anticipated MLB debut and a two-hour-plus rain delay. Chicago was able to erase a 6-1 deficit in an unusual seven-run 5th inning but couldn’t hold the advantage and would eventually lose by one.

The crowd at PNC Park was very hyped to see the debut of 2023 first-overall pick Paul Skenes and he was impressive early, keeping the Cubs off the scoreboard through three frames. Pittsburgh jumped all over Justin Steele in the bottom of the third inning when Connor Joe launched a three-run home run to left field and Oneil Cruz followed with a solo shot to put the home team on top 4-0.

Nico Hoerner got one of the runs back when he hit a solo homer off of Skenes in the top of the 4th. Michael A. Taylor hit a two-run bomb in the bottom of the inning and the margin ballooned to 6-1.

Skenes was lifted after the first two runners reached base in the top of the 5th and his bullpen completely forgot how to throw strikes. Pirates pitchers hit a batter and walked four consecutive — the first three on four pitches apiece — with the bases loaded before Mike Tauchman added an infield hit that tied the score at 6-6.

At that point, the skies opened up and rain delayed the game for over two hours. When it resumed, the bases were still loaded for the Cubs. Amazingly, Pittsburgh walked in two more runs to put the visitors ahead 8-6. Keegan Thompson came on in relief and squandered the lead immediately on a three-run home run from Yasmani Grandal in the bottom of the frame.

Andrew McCutchen hit the Pirates’ fifth home run of the game against Richard Lovelady to make it 10-8 in the 6th. The score remained the same until the final inning, when the Cubs got the first two men on base with nobody. They were only able to score a single run on a Tauchman sacrifice fly and went down to a 10-9 defeat. (Box score)

Key Moment

Chicago had men on the corners with nobody out against closer David Bednar down by a pair in the 9th. After the Tauchman sac fly and a stolen base by pinch-runner Pete Crow-Armstrong, Seiya Suzuki grounded out and Cody Bellinger gave one a ride to the warning track in right for the final out.

Why the Cubs Lost

It was a rare bad performance by one of their starting pitchers and the bullpen continued to struggle.

Stats That Matter

  • Steele just did not have it Saturday and his breaking pitches weren’t sharp: 4 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 3 K, and 2 BB.
  • Suzuki had two hits and a walk in his return from the injured list, so it was good to see him back.
  • Miles Mastrobuoni had quite a day with three hits and a walk after starting the season 0-for-15.
  • Hoerner is starting to hit for more extra-base power of late.

Bottom Line

That was a very strange game and it’s hard to take anything away from it. Obviously, you expect a better effort from Steele and hopefully it’s just some rust from his injury. Injuries in general are still a concern with Christopher Morel leaving early after appearing to jam his knee Saturday. The Cubs have to shake it off and try to win the series Sunday.

On Deck

The final game of the series is a Mother’s Day matinee starting at 12:35pm CT. Kyle Hendricks returns to the rotation against Bailey Falter in a game available on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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