Today’s finale between the Pirates and Brewers looked like it would be a pretty enticing pitching matchup. James McDonald took the hill for Pittsburgh, who was one of the best in the National League in the first half, while Yovani Gallardo was on the mound for Milwuakee, looking for his 15th victory of the season.
Well, today’s game wasn’t exactly a pitchers’ duel. In fact, the fans at Miller Park saw a total of 20 runs and 26 hits this afternoon, resulting in a 12-8 Brewers victory. With the win, Milwaukee secured a three-game series sweep of the Bucs.
James McDonald was dreadful today from the very beginning when he issued a four-pitch walk to lead off the game. He was touched up for eight runs (seven earned) on six hits in 2.2 innings. Ryan Braun hit a three-run homerun in the first, while Jeff Bianchi and Rickie Weeks each had a homerun in the second to knock J-Mac out of the game.
Chris Leroux struggled today in relief, giving up three runs on three hits through 1.1 innings, while Justin Wilson gave up a run on four hits in his one inning of work. Chris Resop did pitch well today, tossing two innings of scoreless baseball, while Tony Watson pitched a hitless eighth inning.
Offensively, the Brewers were absolutely on fire, tallying a total of 13 hits, including five homeruns. Braun and Aramis Ramirez each had three RBI’s, while Weeks added a pair himself, as did Carlos Gomez. While the Brewers did score 12 runs, it could’ve been a lot worse. In fact, they left a total of 13 runners on base.
Before the game, if we would have heard that the Pirates would score seven runs off of Milwaukee’s starter Yovani Gallardo, we’d all think the chances of a Buccos’ victory would be pretty great. Unfortunately, things didn’t play out that way. Still, they got a ton of offensive production in the losing effort. Five different players had multi games for Pittsburgh, including Gaby Sanchez and Michael McKenry, who each had a homerun and three RBI’s. Garrett Jones had three hits, including a solo homerun in the sixth inning. And despite the loss, it was a bright day individually for Brock Holt, who made his first Major League start this afternoon, going 2-5 with two singles and an RBI.
This weekend was full of three games that were all very difficult to swallow for Pirates fans. MillerPark continues to be a dreadfully difficult place to play for the Bucs, and the Brewers, despite their struggles against other teams in the league and away from home, dominated the Pirates this weekend.
Despite the horrible results from the weekend, the Pirates are VERY lucky to still be in the conversation for the final Wild Card playoff spot, thanks to the St. Louis Cardinals losing three of four to the Washington Nationals. The Bucs are a game and a half behind the Cards after today. They’ll return home for a three-game series against the woeful Houston Astros in a series in which they MUST win AT LEAST two games. We can all agree that it’s make it or break it time for the Pirates.
Record vs. Brewers: 4-8
Record vs. N.L. Central: 33-26
Record on the Road: 30-37
Overall Record: 70-63
Let’s Go Bucs!