Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (9/28/21): Pirates 8, Cubs 6 – Loss Dirties Martini Game
The Cubs headed to Pittsburgh for a three-game set starting Tuesday and once again saw a lead squandered by the bullpen for a seventh consecutive loss.
Colin Moran blasted a three-run home run off of Cubs starter Alec Mills in the bottom of the 1st. Chicago used RBI singles from Frank Schwindel, Matt Duffy, and Nick Martini to tie the game in the 3rd.
The Cubs got to Pirates starter Mitch Keller again in the 5th, when Ian Happ singled and Duffy doubled to plate runs. The road team was up 6-3 after a Martini sac fly, but it wouldn’t last.
Mills loaded the bases with none out in the 6th and was relieved by Adam Morgan. The lefty let all three score with the big blow coming on a two-run triple from Hoy Park. Michael Chavis greeted Trevor Megill with a hit to score Park and give Pittsburgh a 7-6 lead.
Moran would knock in one more run before the Pirates sealed the 8-6 win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The bullpen has been an issue throughout the second half of the season and Tuesday was no different. It has been the Cubs’ best weapon for their tanking plans in 2021.
Morgan actually got two outs in the 6th with a two-run lead still intact. Then he hung a slider to Park, who made him pay for it.
Stats That Matter
- Mills struggled in his first inning and last innings: 5 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 4 K, and 2 BB.
- Martini was 4-for-4 with two RBI in by far his best game as a major leaguer.
- Duffy continues his strong end to the season with two hits, including a double and two RBIs.
The Cubs are guaranteed to have a top-10 draft pick with Tuesday’s defeat, which was also their 90th of the season. I guess you could say they are achieving their goals, but it sure is not fun to watch.
Game two of the series is Wednesday at 5:35pm CT as Kyle Hendricks takes on Roansy Contreras, who is making his major league debut. If you really want to watch the game, it’s available on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.