Chicago Cubs drop the home opener to the Pirates

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs did their best to battle back against the Pittsburgh Pirates but came up short in an 8-5 loss.

The Chicago Cubs had to pull a “take two” as they had yesterday’s game postponed due to snow. The weather played along with the Cubs opener. The Pittsburgh Pirates, on the other hand? They did not.

The Cubs’ Tyler Chatwood came out firing, throwing 10 pitches in the first for strikes. It led to a quick first inning. While he got away his six walks in his first start, he wasn’t as lucky this time. It was balls in play that hurt him as he allowed nine hits in his five innings of work, giving up five runs.

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Cubs out to a quick start

They got off to an early start as Kyle Schwarber drove in Kris Bryant to go up 1-0. Willson Contreras was initially called safe, but a review showed his foot came off the base and he was called out.

Jordy Mercer singled to left which scored Corey Dickerson. But the Cubs avoided giving up any more runs as they held it at a 1-1 tie.

Javier Baez then came up with first pitch swinging home run, his first of the season to put the Cubs up 2-1. Also, notice the “Sammy hop” he gave after the home run. Maybe not intentional, but it was a solid tip of the cap, either way.

Down goes Chatty

It fell apart for Chatwood in the third as he gave up three earned runs on a two-run double to Dickerson and an RBI double from Josh Bell. Starling Marte added a solo shot in the fourth and the Pirates were on their way.

The Pirates’ Ivan Nova was in control all game. He gave up the two early runs but kept the Cubs in check from there. In seven innings he allowed seven hits and struck out six. His only other blemish was the second home run of the game for Baez.

With the bases loaded in the eight, Jason Heyward singled through the middle, scoring two to make it an 8-5 game off of reliever Felipe Vasquez. Baez then struck out to end the inning.

Are they for real?

It’s way too early to say, but the Pirates are playing solid baseball early in the season. They’re getting production from all around the lineup, including a three-run home run from veteran Franciso Cervelli.

The Cubs didn’t likely miss Anthony Rizzo today, but they’ll need to get him back soon. The Cubs didn’t play that poorly scoring five runs on ten hits. But allowing eight runs is going to hurt any pitching staff.

Next: Cubs bullpen has been lights out

What’s next

The Cubs will take on the Pirates tomorrow with a 7:05 p.m. CT start. Jon Lester (1-0, 2.89) will go for the Cubs, while Steven Brault (2-0, 1.13) will take the hill for the Pirates.