Cubs drubbed by Pirates, but Marilns, Giants, Reds blow chance to cut wild card lead
Good thing the Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds were not in a mood for winning on Wednesday. The Chicago Cubs surely appreciated it.
While the Cubs were getting hammered, 13-7, by the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field, the three teams chasing them for the third and final National League Wild Card position all took losses.
The Cubs sit at 79-73 after the loss, any hope of winning the National League Central Division title all but gone as the Milwaukee Brewers’ magic number is just three. While they were getting wiped out by the 71-81 Pirates, the Marlins were falling, 8-3, to the New York Mets at home, the Reds were falling to the red-hot Minnesota Twins, 5-3, and the Giants dropped a 7-1 decision to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who now hold a 1 1/2-game lead on the Cubs for the second wild card position. Meanwhile, the Marlins remain half a game behind the Cubs for the third and wild card, while the Reds are one game back and the Giants are three back.
The North Siders did provie offense — 12 hits and home runs by Christopher Morel and Ian Happ, his being a grand slam. But Justin Steele (16-5) may have blown any chance of gaining a foothold on the National League Cy Young Award with this effort, giving up six earned runs on eight hits in three innings. Joshua Palacios, Jared Triolo and Connor Joe all hit home runs to help spearhead a 15-hit attack.
Miles Mastrobuoni had three hits and scored twice for the Cubs, while Happ and Cody Bellinger each went 2-for-5 with Happ’s grand slam providing the only RBIs between them.
Chicago will attempt to win the series on Thursday with Kyle Hendricks (6-7) facing off with Pirates starter Johan Oviedo (8-14). Game time is 6:40 p.m.
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