PITTSBURGH — The Pirates bullpen experiment had been cruising along until Friday, when everything came to crashing halt in the ninth inning as Juan Nicasio and Tony Watson imploded for six runs in a 9-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Here’s how it played out:
Wade LeBlanc and Daniel Hudson pitched scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh after Trevor Williams was pulled for a pinch hitter in the top of the sixth. Hudson’s last out was Albert Almora, Jr., who was batting ninth because Joe Maddon bats his pitchers eighth.
That set up the Cubs' top of the order with Anthony Rizzo (.886 OPS), Ian Happ (.824) and Kyle Schwarber (.693) due up in the eighth. All three are left-handed. They were followed by Addison Russell (.661), Jason Heyward (.721) and Willson Contreras (.687), with Heywa...
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