Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/19/24): Pirates 3, Cubs 2 – Offense Sputters Again as Cubs Drop Series

The Cubs looked to wake up their slumbering offense against the Pirates at Wrigley Field Sunday afternoon, but they sputtered again with just two total hits in the game. Pittsburgh was able to scrape together three runs, which was just enough to win the game and the series.

Jameson Taillon got the start and had to deal with a lot of early traffic on the bases, though he limited the damage to just a 2nd inning home run from Jack Suwinski. Mitch Keller was very good for the Pirates, with his only real blemish coming when Mike Tauchman tripled off him in the 3rd for the Cubs’ first hit of the game. The leadoff batter then scored on a Seiya Suzuki sacrifice fly to tie the score.

Taillon was pulled with runners on second and third and two outs in the top of the 5th. Hayden Wesneski came on in relief and issued a walk to load the bases, then gave up a two-run single to Nick Gonzales that gave Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead.

A hit-by-pitch and a double by Cody Bellinger put runners on second and third nobody out in the bottom of the 6th inning. Christopher Morel hit a deep sacrifice fly that gave the Cubs their second run, but that was it as Ian Happ and Michael Busch were retired to preserve Pittsburgh’s 3-2 advantage.

The Cubs only got one runner on base in the final three innings and went down quietly to a 3-2 defeat. (Box score)

Key Moment

Morel’s sacrifice fly would have been a home run a lot of days at Wrigley, but it got knocked down by the wind blowing in on Sunday. Just the way things seem to be going for the North Siders right now.

Why the Cubs Lost

The hitters aren’t giving the team a very good chance to win right now. The pitching has mostly been fine, it’s simply not good enough to overcome the offensive woes.

Stats That Matter

  • Taillon was fine and fell victim to four infield singles that upped his pitch count: 4.2 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 4 K, and 2 BB.
  • Morel and Suzuki each had a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and a sac fly on Sunday.

Bottom Line

Having to use Nick Madrigal and Miles Mastrobuoni in the middle infield is killing the Cubs right now on both offense and defense. Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner are scheduled to be back on Tuesday and it would very much help this team if they were. It won’t immediately solve all their issues but it will definitely help.

On Deck

After a day off on Monday, the Cubs welcome the Braves to the Friendly Confines for three beginning Tuesday at 6:40pm CT. Neither team has named a starter yet for the opening game which will be aired on TBS, Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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