Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (5/8/21): Cubs 3, Pirates 2 – Duffy, Thompson Big in Fifth Straight W

Trevor Williams (2-2, 6.00 ERA) took the mound against Wil Crowe (0-1, 4.66 ERA) in game two of the series as the Cubs went for their fifth consecutive victory. Williams was looking to improve on his rough outing the last time out against the Reds, not to mention his terrible start in Pittsburgh back in early April.

The Cubs offense got out to a fast start, taking a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning when Willson Contreras was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Down 2-1, they tied it up in the 4th when Contreras was brought home by an Eric Sogard RBI sac fly.

Williams flirted with danger in the first few innings and managed to avoid damage before allowing a two-run shot to Ka’ai Tom in the 4th. The former Pirate saw his pitch count rise to 84 and was pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the frame, ending the day with two runs allowed on five hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts.

Keegan Thompson once again did an outstanding job, pitching three spotless innings to earn his first career win. He kept Pittsburgh at bay until the Cubs were able to regain the lead in the 7th on the strength of a Matt Duffy RBI single.

Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel took care of the rest and the Cubs went on to win by a final of 3-2. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Won

A stellar job by Thompson out of the pen and timely hitting led to the victory today.

Key Moment

Duffy’s impressive plate approach is reminiscent of what Ben Zobrist brought to the lineup during his tenure with the team. In the 7th inning, Duffy came off the bench as a pinch hitter and accounted for the go-ahead RBI, driving Jason Heyward home from second.

Stats That Matter

  • Kris Bryant has actually made more starts in the outfield (18) than at third base (14).
  • Williams has really struggled as of late, registering only 6.2 innings with an ERA of 10.80 over his last two starts.
  • Duffy is now hitting .309 with a .782 OPS, 17 hits, and seven RBI on the year.

Bottom Line

This win was a team effort, but the Cubs have to figure out how to get Williams going or simply replace him in the rotation if he continues to struggle to this degree. The bullpen can’t be expected to carry most of the game every fifth day.

On Deck

Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 6.07 ERA) squares off against Tyler Anderson (2-3, 3.24 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday.

How To Watch

Game Time: Sunday, May 9, 1:20pm CT
TV/Radio: Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
Live Stream (in-network): Watch live on fuboTV – sign up now for a free trial.

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