The Chicago Cubs lost a 16 inning 5 hour and 55 minute thriller to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park last night. From the start of the second inning you knew this game had the chance to be an interesting game with both ball clubs getting warned by home plate umpire Bob Davidson after a supposable retaliation when Charlie Morton hit Anthony Rizzo to start the second inning after Edwin Jackson hit Starling Marte to lead off the bottom of the first. Three more batters were hit by pitches after the warnings with Rizzo getting hit twice. Both Starters pitched well with Cubs starter Edwin
Jackson only allowing one earned run (2 runs) 5 1/3 innings pitched, and Charlie Morton going six scoreless innings. The Pirates held the Cubs scoreless until the 8th on a reviewable play that was overturned, and then the Cubs tied it up in the ninth when Luis Valbuena knocked in Junior Lake to tie it up at 2 apiece and to force it to extra innings. Anthony Rizzo had the go ahead home run to right field in the 12th make it 3-3 after a 32 pitch 12th Carlos Villanueva is pitching and Pirates prospect Tony Sanchez is called to pinch hit with Starling Marte in scoring position, and Sanchez hits a walk off single to end the game at 4-3.
That makes 2 walk offs in two games for the Pirates in this Opening Series, and also has been Carlos Villanueva pitching both time the Bucs have hit their walk offs. Even though the Pirates lead the series 2-0; I still have been very impressed with the Cubs starting pitching and bullpen. The Cubs bullpen isn’t as much of a death sentence like it was last year, even though Veras blew the save and Villanueva is 0-2 to start the season. 7 pitchers from the Cubs bullpen pitched last night, and 5 of the 7 were near flawless and kept the Cubs in the game for 16 innings.