For all of their success in the first half, the Pirates may yet turn in a 20th consecutive sub-500 season this year.
The Pirates became the first team since 2004 to commit seven errors in a game and lost 12-2 to the Cubs on Friday night.
Second baseman Brock Holt and left fielder Starling Marte both made two errors in the game. First baseman Gaby Sanchez, catcher Rod Bahajas and shortstop Josh Harrison made one each.
The Braves were the last team to have seven errors in a game, doing so in a loss to the Rockies eight years ago. It was the first time since 1985 that the Pirates had committed seven errors.
In so doing, they made a winner out of Cubs lefty Travis Wood for the first time in over two months. Wood allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings to snap his eight-game losing streak. The Cubs had lost each of his 10 starts since the All-Star break.
The Pirates are now 72-65 for the season. They’ll have to win nine of their remaining 25 games to finish at .500. The odds favor them getting there, but seeing as though they’re 13-21 since the beginning of August, it’s far from a lock.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.