While a sweep would’ve been the ultimate revenge, the Cubs settled for two out of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The series had a little bit of everything, so let’s dig in.
Men Left On Base Hurts Cubs Again
The final game of the series had the Cubs eyeing their first sweep of the season, and they certainly had the opportunity. Alas, the team left 13 runners on, including six in the first two innings, on the way to a one-run loss. That’ll definitely leave you with a not so good feeling in your stomach, especially considering the team had runners on 1st and 2nd with one out in the 9th only to hit into a game-ending double play. More clutch hits are going to be needed in order for the Cubs to separate themselves from the rest of the division.
Kris Bryant Settling In
Although he ‘only’ has two homers so far, Kris Bryant is mashing the ball right now. The 3rd-year 3B went 7-11 with four walks and is now batting .282/.386/.447 on the season after a sluggish start. Of course the homers will eventually come (we think) so it’s not really a concern as of now. He’s also been excellent defensively, but that should come as no surprise. He is one of the best players in all of baseball after all.
Brett Anderson’s Mixed Start
Brett Anderson certainly had the run support any pitcher would kill to have on Monday night. The Cubs scored nine runs in the first two innings, breezing through Pittsburgh in a 14-3 win. Anderson threw six innings of five hit ball but gave up six walks and three runs (one earned). Those six free passes put his walk percent to 12, 10th in the league among pitchers with at least 20 IP. His control hasn’t really been there so far this season, but the Cubs do have other options on the team and could also look to trade for a starter this summer so keep an eye on that if Anderson keeps struggling.
What’s next: The Cubs face the Boston Red Sox in interleague play at Fenway Park over the weekend, which should be a fun series between two teams who can put up a ton of runs in a hurry. Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Anderson are set to get the starts, respectively.