Top 1

All the excitement for Opening Day vanished quickly for Cubs fans. Kyle Hendricks, the dude who doesn’t walk guys walked the leadoff hitter Adam Frazier. Then, already a Cubs killer, Ke’Bryan Hayes, smashed a two-run homer to left field before Hendricks got an out.

Hendricks eventually settled down and retired the next three batters.

Score: Pirates 2, Cubs 0

Bottom 1

The Cubs have found their leadoff hitter. Ian Happ draws a leadoff walk against Chad Kuhl.

Willson Contreras followed with a fielder’s choice. Not the best at-bat, chased some pitches. Kuhl not throwing a lot of strikes early on.

Anthony Rizzo with a usual Rizzo at-bat, which ends with a double to right-center on a 3-2 count. Willson Contreras goes to third.

This was classic Kris Bryant. Went down 0-2, but didn’t panic and eventually walked. Bases loaded for Joc!

Another long at-bat for the Cubs and it ends with a sac-fly to left for Joc Pederson. Interesting note here as the Pirates already have former Cubs pitcher Duane Underwood Jr. warming up in the bullpen.

Javier Báez fouled out to the catcher on a 2-0 pitch to end the inning.

Quick note on the Marquee Sports Network broadcast. They have a new score bug, getting rid of the long banner look from 2020. However, there’s no permanent pitch count displayed. They did eventually show the pitch count, but only for a few seconds.

Score: Pirates 2, Cubs 1

Top 2

Sooooo, Hendricks walked the leadoff hitter again and then gave up a hit. Not great and maybe the cold weather is messing with his grip. Not ideal for the Cubs.

David Bote almost started a nice double play, but Kuhl was safe at first after swinging away and then Frazier singled to left field to make it 3-1 Pirates. Not looking great for my under seven runs bet.

KB makes a nice play at third on a grounder from Hayes, steps on third to end the inning.

So, already brought up the cold weather maybe hurting Hendricks and Kuhl for that matter too early on, but maybe the new rules on pitchers using substances could be a factor.

Score: Pirates 3, Cubs 1

Bottom 2

After a Jason Heyward groundout, Bote walked on four pitches. Kuhl, like Hendricks, struggling with command.

The baseball purists will love this, Hendricks puts down a bunt, Bote to second. A reminder, no DH in the National League this year. Boo.

Damnit, Happ strikes out on a 3-2 pitch. Looked like a slider high in the zone, could have crushed it. Let’s see if Hendricks can get it together.

Score: Pirates 3, Cubs 1

Top 3

Still not looking great for Hendricks. Fell behind 2-0 and then Bote was too slow getting to a ball deep in the shift in shallow right and the Pirates have the leadoff man on again.

A four-pitch walk follows. Brandon Workman warming in the pen as Tommy Hottovy makes a mound visit.

A huge strikeout for Hendricks. Thank you Gregory Polanco for chasing ball four. That would have loaded the bases.

And a beautiful strikeout to end the third. Phew!

By the way, the last time Hendricks walked three batters in a regular season game? Exactly two years ago today.

Just like dumb April Fools’ Day jokes, I don’t like this tradition.

Score: Pirates 3, Cubs 1

Bottom 3

Contreras reaches on a brutal error by Frazier.

Ball in the dirt, a bad throw to second base and Willson rumbles over to third base!

Rizzo with a sac-fly to right field. Contreras scores for the second time and it’s 3-2. Contreras did get credit for the stolen base at second.

Bryant grounded out and Pederson struck out swinging to end the third.

Score: Pirates 3, Cubs 2

Top 4

Kyle Hendricks is done for the day. Brandon Workman coming in.

Workman walks Anthony Alford, but then picks him off. Hey, hey the Cubs actually executed a run-down, so hell yeah!

Cubs got lucky with Dustin Fowler’s hit to right field. Could have gone to the corner, but the ball banged off the side wall and kicked toward Heyward to hold Fowler to a single.

Aaaaaaaand another walk. A double steal for the Pirates. Second and third and a full count for Hayes now.

Oh boy, some bad base running by Fowler. Hayes lines a ball to right field and Fowler goes down the line before realizing the ball is going to be caught. Cubs catch a break.

Workman is done. Lefty Rex Brother is coming in.

Bryan Reynolds taps one back softly to Brothers and thanks to some horrid base running the Cubs escape the fourth without allowing a run.

Score: Pirates 3, Cubs 2

Bottom 4

Duane Underwood Jr. is in for the Pirates, relieving Chad Kuhl. Underwood was DFA’d by the Cubs during spring training. The 26-year-old was drafted in 2012 by the Cubs.

Báez strikes out swinging to start the inning.

Heyward strikes out swinging on a high fastball.

Bote strikes out swinging.

Wow. Duane Underwood Jr. with a big FU to the Cubs there.

Score: Pirates 3, Cubs 2

Top 5

Rex Brothers keeps the walk train going. Leadoff walk and then a single for the Pirates, who once again have multiple guys on base to begin an inning.

Polanco with a terrible at-bat, strikes out swinging on a ball in the dirt.

David Ross with a double-switch. Jason Adam comes in to pitch, while Eric Sogard replaces David Bote at second base.

Jacob Stallings drills a double over Joc’s head. 4-2 Pirates.

By the way, hecklers are in mid-season form.

Adam strikes out Alford. Big with runners at second and third.

Looked like Adam lost his grip and hits Phillip Evans to load the bases.

The Cubs are finally able to get Frazier out as he grounds out to leave the bases loaded.

Score: Pirates 4, Cubs 2

Bottom 5

Right-hander Clay Holmes now in for the Pirates.

Sogard makes solid contact in his first official Cubs at-bat, but it was right at first baseman Colin Moran.

Happ grounds out softly to first.

Contreras strikes out swinging.

So yeah, we once again have the Cubs’ offense not taking advantage early on and then going down quietly afterward. That’s now nine in a row retired by Pirates pitching after Contreras reached on an error to begin the bottom of the third inning.

Score: Pirates 4, Cubs 2

Top 6

Another leadoff walk. The Cubs have issued seven walks already.

Reynolds hits a ground ball, but not hard enough for the Cubs to try for a double play. Hayes at second with one out.

Moran walks. Eight walks through 5.1 innings for Cubs pitchers. Dan Winkler coming in for Adam.

Hey, hey Dan Winkler got both men he faced out.

Score: Pirates 4, Cubs 2

Bottom 6

Rizzo leading off against lefty Sam Howard. The Cubs have one hit so far, Rizzo’s double in the very first inning.

Howard strikes out Rizzo. Paints the outside edge to get Rizzo looking.

Bryant strikes out swinging.

Pederson strikes out swinging.

This is going great.

Score: Pirates 4, Cubs 2

Top 7

Winkler looking decent out of the bullpen. Strikes out the leadoff hitter. Oh yeah, that’s the first time a Pirates hitter hasn’t reached base to begin an inning today.

Did I just jinx Winkler? Walk number nine for Cubs pitching.

Alford got a huge jump and steals second base with ease.

Alford to third base after a groundout. Frazier now up to bat. Please, pretty please don’t.

Son of a bitch. RBI-single to shallow left-center for Frazier. 5-2 Pirates. Weird outfield positioning for the Cubs there.

Winkler with a strikeout to end the seventh.

Score: Pirates 5, Cubs 2

Bottom 7

Javy strikes out again. Looks awful at the plate, so yay.

Heyward strikes out again. Five straight strikeouts for Cubs hitter, 10 of last 12.

Matt Duffy makes his Cubs’ debut and flies out to right field. We’re almost at three hours since the Cubs’ first and only hit of the game so far.

Score: Pirates 5, Cubs 2

Top 8

Left-hander Andrew Chafin and his gnarly mustache are in the game for the Cubs.

Another leadoff walk. 10 walks. I kinda like JD’s rule that if a team walks 10 guys they automatically lose.

Chafin allowed a hit, got a couple outs and now Ryan Tepera is coming in.

The Cubs have now used all their relievers except for Alec Mills, Dillon Maples and Craig Kimbrel on Opening Day. At least they get a day off tomorrow.

LMAO Tepera walks the first batter he sees.

Somehow the Cubs are still in this game even though it doesn’t feel like it. Alfaro strikes out and the Pirates strand the bases loaded again.

Score: Pirates 5, Cubs 2

Bottom 8

Eric Sogard doubled to right field! But also, seemed like he should be at third base. Maybe didn’t want to risk it or is he just slow?

Sogard to third on a slow grounder to first base by Happ. Contreras up to bat.

Well, the Cubs are getting guys in from third. Sac-fly to right field for Contreras, Sogard scores. Now 5-3 Pirates. Cubs just haven’t been able to get a big hit with runners on.

Rizzo grounds one up the middle, but the shift, so he’s out to end the eighth inning.

Score: Pirates 5, Cubs 3

Top 9

Alec Mills coming in to pitch and I don’t get it. Why wasn’t he used right after Hendricks if you weren’t saving him? Weird decision from Ross.

Hey, hey! Not a leadoff walk.

Lineout and groundout to Javy.

Score: Pirates 5, Cubs 3

Bottom 9

Bryant attacks the first pitch, but can’t do much with it.

Joc draws a walk and Javy represents the tying run.

Wild pitch and Joc goes to second.

Javy and Heyward strike out to end it.

FINAL: Pirates 5, Cubs 3