Rapid Reaction: Pirates 7, Cubs 6

September, 15, 2012
9/15/12
3:49
PM CT
By Sahadev Sharma
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 7-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

How it happened: Jason Berken struggled in his Cubs debut, but his defense did little to aid him in his attempt to hold down the Pirates offense. Pittsburgh scored six runs in the first four innings, only two of which were earned. Throwing errors by catcher Welington Castillo and third baseman Josh Vitters led to four unearned runs as the Pirates jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead. The Cubs scratched across a few more runs and threatened in the ninth, but couldn't complete the comeback, ending their four-game win streak against the Pirates.

What it means: Dave Sappelt continues to look solid in a very small sample with the Cubs as he went 2-for-5 on the day, improving to 9-for-24 on the season (.375). While he may hope for more than just a fourth outfielder spot in the future, he looks like a legitimate candidate to fill Reed Johnson's role in 2013 and possibly beyond.

Outside the box: Darwin Barney extended his single-season errorless streak at second base to 130 games and added a pair of brilliant plays in the process. Barney ventured far to his left to steal a single from Pedro Alvarez and made a great catch with his back to the infield on a Travis Snider pop-up as he avoided colliding with Sappelt.

Up next: Chris Volstad (3-10, 5.99) takes on Jeff Locke (0-1, 4.29) as the Cubs play the third of a four-game set against the Pirates at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon at 1:20 p.m.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Anthony Rizzo
BA HR RBI R
.286 25 59 72
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 59
RA. Rizzo 72
OPSA. Rizzo .910
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOT. Wood 108