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Opening Day Post-Game Report: Burnett strikes out 10 but Pirates offense silent in 3-1 loss to Cubs


Win: Jeff Samardzija (1-0)
Loss: A.J. Burnett (0-1)
Save Kyuji Fujikawa (1)
PITTSBURGH — Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija was flawless, striking out nine in eight shutout innings, leading the Chicago Cubs (1-0) to a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates (0-1) at PNC Park.
Samardzija allowed just two hits and walked one in the win. The Pirates bats were silent, managing just three hits overall in the game, including one extra base hit, a double from Andrew McCutchen in the sixth inning. The Pirates were 1-7 with runners in scoring position.
“He can go get 95, 97, can drop that breaking ball. He was throwing whatever he wanted,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Samardzija. “Last two times we’ve seen him, he’s been very difficult. He made pitches.”
A.J. Burnett making his first career opening day start, gave up three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, while striking out 10 and walking just one batter. Burnett was good enough to win today but the other guy was better.
“Got to tip your hat to the other guy,” Burnett said. “He was throwing the heck out of it.” “Results weren’t there but I battled and had a good time.”
Burnett’s one mistake was in the first inning giving up a two-run homer to Anthony Rizzo and Welington Castillo added an RBI double for the Cubs in the sixth.
“The one mistake I have to deal with today,” Burnett said.
Manager Clint Hurdle was pleased with what Burnett gave his ball club today.
“He competed,” Hurdle said of Burnett. “All the things you want to see from A.J.”
Relievers Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon, and Jared Hughes pitched 3 1/3 shutout innings in relief of Burnett.

Post-Game Player Reports

Game 1 Monday, April 1,  2013

Cubs 3 @ Pirates 1


Russell Martin| 0-4, 13 #P’s

Martin was 0-4 at the plate and 0-1 with runners in scoring position. Defensively Martin made a great defensive stop on a wild pitch in the fourth inning to save a run but the Cubs ran effectively on Martin who was 0-for-2 in throwing runners out as Castro and Schierholtz stole bases.


Gaby Sanchez, 1B | 0-3, 1 BB, 1 SO, 15 #P’s

Sanchez in the No. 5 spot did not work out today. Sanchez was 0-3 at the plate and struck out with runners on first and third in the first inning when the Pirates failed to take advantage of one of the few times they got to Jeff Samardzija.

Neil Walker, 2B | 1-4, 1 SO, 19 #P’s

Walker singled to left center in the bottom of the 2nd inning for his lone hit of the game. Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth with runners at first and second, Walker flied to right with one out.

Clint Barmes, SS | 0-2, 1 SO, 8 #P’s

Barmes was 0-2 at the plate and replaced in the ninth inning by defensive minded shortstop John McDonald.

Pedro Alvarez, 3B | 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 SO, 18 #P’s

Alvarez picked up the Pirates third hit of the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, scoring Andrew McCutchen. Alvarez batting cleanup was 1-3 with runners in scoring position, striking out in the first with runners at first and third, and grounding out to second in the sixth with Andrew McCutchen at second base and in scoring position.

John McDonald, SS | 0-0

Replaced Clint Barmes in the ninth inning and had a throwing error.


Starling Marte, LF | 0-3, 1 BB, 1 SO, 16 #P’s even rating

Marte walked in the first inning, getting ahead 3-0 in the count then walking after seeing six pitches. Overall Marte was 0-3 on the day.

Andrew McCutchen, CF| 1-3, 2B, 1 R, 1 SO, 15 #P’s

McCutchen had the Pirates lone extra base hit, hitting a double to left off Jeff Samardzija in the sixth inning and McCutchen scored a run in the ninth.

Garrett Jones, RF | 0-4, 1 SO, 17 #P’s

Jones batting second in the lineup raised some eye brows and he was 0-4 with 1 strikeout in the loss.

Jose Tabata, PH-LF| 0-1, 5 #P’s

Tabata pinch hit for Barmes in the bottom of the 8th inning and grounded out to shortstop.

Travis Snider, PH | 0-1, 1 SO, 4 #P’s

Snider came off the bench pinch hitting for Hughes in the 8th inning, and struck out on four pitches.


A.J. Burnett| 0-1, 5.2 IP, 6 Hits, 3 runs, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, 98-61 PC-ST |

Burnett struck out 10 batters and walked just one and had little run support in the loss. Burnett’s big mistake was in the first inning when Anthony Rizzo belted a two-run homer off Burnett with one on and one out in the top of the first and Welington Castillo hit an RBI double off Burnett in the top of the 6th inning. Burnett struggled against Castillo who hit two doubles off him. Overall, though, it was a positive opening day outing for Burnett.|

Justin Wilson| 1.1 IP, 0 Hits, 0 runs, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 19-15 PC-ST |

Wilson came in in relief of Burnett and was perfect in 1 1/3 innings, allowing no hits and no walks and striking out two. Wilson was very effective at throwing strikes.|

Jared Hughes| 1.0 IP, 0 Hits, 0 runs, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 13-7 PC-ST |

Jared Hughes pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, getting Castro and Rizzo to hit into ground outs and striking out  Soriano to close out the inning.|

Mark Melancon| 1.0 IP, 0 Hits, 0 runs, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 9-8 PC-ST |

Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth inning. After Schierholtz reached base on a throwing error from John McDonald, and stole second, the Cubs were in scoring position with no outs. Melancon struck out Castillo, then got Valbuena to fly out and with Schierholtz at third, Melancon struck out Gonzalez to close out the inning. A solid outing for Melancon.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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