Chicago Cubs Score and Recap 4/24/22 Pirates 4 Cubs 3The Chicago baseball team has won four of its last five games‚ including a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs scored in the first inning for the third straight series and their 16th in 16 games. Ortega scampered home on a rare error by Ke'Bryan Hayes and Schwindel added an RBI single. Brubaker limited the damage to two runs‚ striking out Jason Heyward and Villar. The Pirates got one back in the second on Gamel's RBI single.
David Robertson pitched for the CubsUntil recently‚ Robertson was an option on the Cubs' roster‚ but his absence was due to a minor injury. He had planned to throw a bullpen session on Sunday but was pushed back to Tuesday. However‚ his absence is not expected to affect his availability on Opening Day. Robertson signed a one-year deal with the Cubs on Wednesday. The deal is worth $3.5 million with an additional $1.5 million in incentives. This season‚ Robertson has four saves and is on pace for his fifth. He has allowed only one hit over five scoreless innings‚ and he has been a standout closer. Robertson's save in the last game against the Rays was his best‚ as he incited two groundouts and induced a flyout. The Cubs are looking at him as their closer‚ especially with Ethan Roberts and Mychal Givens pitching the eighth inning on Tuesday and Mychal Givens on Wednesday. The Cubs had a few good players on the mound on Saturday. David Ross went with Chadwick in the fourth inning after Justin Steele's first start. However‚ the young hurler surrendered three runs over three innings. He battled command problems and had trouble getting the ball out of his zone. The Cubs bullpen did not allow a run the rest of the way. Despite the lack of consistency‚ Robertson's first start in nearly two weeks was a big boost to the Cubs' season. He struck out five in seven innings and allowed only two hits. The bullpen had no choice but to make changes. However‚ the Cubs still have some issues‚ so the team is looking into other options. In addition to Robertson‚ the Cubs have to deal with a slew of injuries to their top pitching staff.
Justin Steele struggled for his second straight startThe Chicago team lost its series finale to the Pittsburgh Pirates‚ 4/24/22‚ at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won game one‚ 21-0. Overall‚ the team went 1-3 in the series‚ falling to the Pirates‚ who won four of their last five games. Steele struggled for his second straight start. He struggled to control his fastball and slider and gave up three runs on four hits. He also had four walks. The Cubs are in a good spot after winning the first two games. However‚ the Pirates were able to ride their momentum into the games and earned a series split. Justin Steele was on a seven-game road trip and was likely emotionally worn out. With an ace in the rotation‚ the Cubs have the most confidence in their rotation. Despite Justin Steele's second-straight poor start‚ the Cubs have a few key injuries to keep in mind. Ke'Bryn Hayes is out with an appendix infection‚ while Andrelton Simmons and David Bote are out with shoulder injuries. Besides Justin Steele‚ three other starters and two relievers are dealing with injuries. The injuries could make a difference in this series. Despite the loss‚ the Cubs' bullpen has been effective. In the past‚ the team's bullpen has pitched well‚ and there's a chance that Justin Steele could make another good start in the future. While he was inconsistent in his first two starts‚ he did a good job in the bullpen against the Athletics and allowed no runs over 4 1/3 innings.
Impact Smyly hasn't allowed a run through 9.2 inningsSmyly signed with the Cubs on March 19 and has advanced in his throwing program enough to make the team's Opening Day rotation. Smyly is set to start the fourth game of the Cubs' four-game series against the Rockies on Friday. His placement in the rotation gives the Cubs the flexibility to break up their right-handed pitching staff. The Cubs will start Marcus Stroman on Saturday and Alec Mills next week‚ so Smyly may be a great fit for this team. Smyly has improved his fastball and changeup usage during the last season. His fastball now sits at 92.1 mph‚ a bit above the league average for a left-handed starter. This has helped Smyly increase his groundball rate and reduce his fly ball rate. However‚ he's still prone to home runs. After signing a three-year contract with the Cubs‚ Marcus Stroman is not enough to solidify their starting rotation. The Cubs' starting pitching was their downfall last season‚ and they didn't do enough to address this issue. Drew Smyly‚ a former Cub‚ hasn't allowed a run through 9.2 innings and should continue to be an option for the Cubs. The Pirates are sending Jose Quintana to oppose Smyly. Quintana allowed just one run in five innings against Smyly in April. The Pirates are still one of the worst teams in the MLB and this lineup should be able to get results against Smyly. If the Pirates can get a win against the Cubs‚ Smyly is a strong candidate to win the World Series.
Justin Steele looks human in loss to PiratesWith Wade Miley still not ready to take the mound‚ Justin Steele is in the mix for a spot in the Cubs' back end. While his spring ERA is a respectable 2.70‚ his control needs some work. Despite his command issues‚ Steele threw 79 pitches and walked four batters while striking out just one. Here are some things to keep an eye on. First‚ Steele should be a lot better than the four runs he gave up in his last outing. Steele had a solid start against the Pirates in his previous start‚ but fell behind in Sunday's game. After all‚ he has thrown only 15 innings in four starts. Steele said he'll make adjustments during the between-starts bullpen. After all‚ he was a promising pitcher despite the loss. On the positive side‚ he did look human in the Cubs' loss to the Pirates. After allowing six runs to the St. Louis Cardinals‚ Steele went seven shutout innings to hand the Cubs their 100th loss of the season. But it didn't come easy. The Cubs scored seven runs in the second inning‚ and Steele couldn't prevent them. After all‚ he had pitched only five innings in his previous eight starts.
That was gross. — Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) April 24, 2022
That AB by Contreras was not great. Just make contact. — Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) April 24, 2022
Stratton threw Wisdom 5 straight curves, got ahead 1-2, but Wisdom hammered the last of those five foul. After a mound visit, Stratton threw 2 straight fastballs, with Wisdom swinging through the second which was in the upper third of the zone. 4-3 Pirates as we head to the 9th — Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) April 24, 2022