Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/17/24): Pirates 9, Cubs 3 – Hendricks Hammered, Skenes Shines

The Cubs met the Pirates for the second game of their series Friday afternoon at Wrigley after dropping the first in disappointing fashion. Pretty much nothing went right for Chicago in this contest as Pittsburgh’s phenom starting pitcher Paul Skenes dazzled and Kyle Hendricks imploded again in a blowout loss.

Skenes struck out the first seven Cubs he faced and looked completely unhittable early. Adding insult to injury, Jared Triolo took Hendricks deep in the top of the 3rd to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

That would’ve been enough offense for the road team to win the game, but they got a lot more in the next two frames. The Bucs went on to score six more runs on the Cubs starter with a series of soft hits and the help of a throwing error to make it an 8-0 game after five innings.

Skenes eventually went six no-hit innings and struck out 11 Chicago batters. The home team finally produced some offense in the 8th scoring three runs, including a solo home run from Miguel Amaya, but still went on to lose by a score of 9-3. (Box score)

Key Moment

If Hendricks had been able to keep the game relatively close the Cubs might have had a chance to make it a game against the Pirates bullpen. Instead, he got lit up in the middle innings and Pittsburgh put the game on ice.

Why the Cubs Lost

One team got a terrific start and the other one got a bad start, and that determined the outcome on Friday.

Stats That Matter

  • Hendricks just isn’t giving his team a chance most days and Friday was no different: 4.2 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 11 H, 4 K, and 0 BB.
  • Christopher Morel broke up the no-hitter with a single and had a two-run double.

Bottom Line

It’s reached a point with Hendricks where the Cubs are going to have to get him out of the rotation if they’re serious about being a playoff team. That’s very tough to say about someone who has done so much for this team over the years, but he just doesn’t give them a consistent chance to win every five days. There are numerous better options available for a spot in the rotation and this is a bottom-line business. Results are what matter and they just aren’t happening for him.

On Deck

The third game of the set is Saturday at 1:20pm CT. Shōta Imanaga tries to play stopper against Bailey Falter in a matchup broadcast on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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