On the one hand, folks are quick to point out that it’s only May 3rd, so being back four games isn’t such a big deal for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The flip side, of course, is that it’s only May 3rd and the Chicago Cubs are already up by four games.
You could say it’s a very small deficit to make up.
Or could you say that, at this pace, the Cubs would clinch the division on September 5th.
It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess.
Round 1 of Cubs vs. Pirates turned nasty when Kyle Lobstein – whether on his own or under direction of Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle – decided to throw at Ben Zobrist in retaliation for Cubs starter Jason Hammel having hit Starling Marte the inning prior.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon had some choice f-bombs for Lobstein.
Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli had some in return for Maddon.
And home plate umpire Laz Diaz was stuck in the middle of it all, trying to assure all parties involved that he had things under control.
In the end, it was a lop-sided 7-2 win for the Cubs, who gave Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole fits with their usual 2016 brand of running up pitch counts.
Cole left after 4.2 innings of work, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) on 10 base runners (6 hits, 4 walks).
Chicago is now a combined 3-1 against the other NL Central superpowers, the St. Louis Cardinals proposing to be the other member of the preseason Big 3.
Though, at 13-13, having been swept at home by the Washington Nationals over the weekend and Adam Wainwright paying too much attention to what social media trolls are saying about him, my doubts about the Redbirds are starting to creep in.
It’s a good start for the Cubs, who had an undoubtedly easy April schedule.
To their credit, they took advantage of it.
They start May with three games in Pittsburgh before a 10-game home-stand that begins with four games against the Nats and ends with three against the Bucs.
With three games in St. Louis and four at home against the stacked Los Angeles Dodgers towards the end of the month, it should be interesting to see where they’re at exactly one month from today.
For now, the view from four games up is pretty good.