It’s been an up and down ride lately for the Pirates. Overall, it’s been a dreadful month of August, especially following the lights-out play from the team in June and July. Tonight was indicative of how the entire month had gone for the Pirates, as they were embarrassed in the first of a three game series at Miller Park, falling 9-3 to the Brewers.
The game was virtually decided in the first inning. Jeff Karstens, the Pirates’ starter, got only one out in the game before he was pulled due to issues with a right hip flexor. He certainly struggled before he was pulled though, giving up four runs on five hits, including a two run single to Aramis Ramirez and a two run homerun to Corey Hart. Kyle McPherson relieved Karstens, giving up a run on a hit in 1.2 innings of work.
Kevin Correia came in from the bullpen and pitched four shutout innings, while Jared Hughes pitched a perfect seventh inning. Hisanori Takahashi struggled mightily in the eighth inning, though, surrendering four runs on four hits, highlighted by a two run homerun by Ramirez. His four RBI’s led the Brew Crew.
It was a frustrating evening for the Pirates’ offense tonight as well. They threatened numerous times off Milwaukee’s starter Mark Rogers, but they weren’t able to put a string of hits together to do any serious damage. Garrett Jones hammered a solo homerun in the fourth inning, and Alex Presley’s RBI ground out in the eighth inning scored Gaby Sanchez, but other than that, the Bucs struggled with runners on base. Overall, they left a total of 12 runners on base tonight.
On a positive note, Pedro Alvarez and Josh Harrison had two hits each. Pedro’s average continues to climb, now sitting at .252 for the season. As for Presley, he had two hits and two RBI’s in his return to the Pirates after being recalled from AAA Indianapolis. Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen both sat out tonight’s game.
Tonight’s game was the perfect ending to the month because it illustrated perfectly just how the Bucs have played in August. Just as the Pirates and the fans will want to turn the page on this loss to the Brewers, they need to do the same for the entire month.
The Pirates are nine games over .500, still a half game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the final Wild Card spot, and have a month left of baseball to prove that they deserve among the elite teams in the N.L. Central. A.J. Burnett will take the mound for the Bucs tomorrow against Milwaukee’s Marco Estrada. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.
Record vs. Brewers: 4-6
Record vs. N.L. Central: 33-24
Record on the Road: 30-35
Overall Record: 70-61
Let’s Go Bucs!