The Pittsburgh Pirates found pitching in their opening series with the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find their hitting.
The Bucs dropped to 1-2 this season after losing to the Cubs 3-2 at PNC Park Thursday afternoon.
Travis Wood (1-0) blanked the Pirates over six innings, giving up just one hit.
It looked pretty dismal until the ninth, when the Pirates scored two runs to make it 3-2.
Unfortunately, the Pirates looked like the team that has struggled the past 20 years.
Pittsburgh had the tying run on third and the winning run on first in the ninth with no outs, but Pedro Alvarez struck out and Neil Walker hit into a game-ending double play.
The Pirates opened the season with a 3-1 loss to the Cubs. A.J. Burnett took the loss, striking out 10 in 5 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija was better, going eight innings without giving up a run. He gave up just two hits and struck out nine.
The Pirates’ pitching staff was good enough to sweep the Cubs this series. However, the hitters were as cold as the temperatures, making it a disappointing start to the season.
The Pirates scored six runs in the series and had 13 hits. And many hits weren’t timely.
Pirates fans have to be encouraged by James McDonald’s start Thursday. McDonald struggled in the second half of the 2012.
McDonald was in a groove against the Cubs, giving up just two hits. The problem was, he gave up a soft single in the third that allowed the Cubs’ first run. The Cubs picked up two more in the ninth that were definitely need.
The Pirates head west for a series against the Dodgers starting Friday.
– Rick Green (follow me @ETNrgreen)