Bullpen Tagged For Six Runs, Pirates Lose Fourth Straight

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: AP
Here we go again?
Throughout the Buccos’ historic, infamous 18-season long losing streak, there has typically been that one stretch during the year when they drop a significant amount of games in a short period of time, digging themselves a hole they are incapable of recovering from.  In the past, it’s been the pitching at times, the hitting at times, or, in some cases, just plain bad luck.  However the pieces fall into place over the years, there has always been one common theme:  a Pirates’ losing streak.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where the Pirates are tonight:  in the middle of their longest losing streak of the 2011 season thus far.  The Buccos dropped their fourth straight game today after an 8-2 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Jeff Karstens made the start for the Buccos, and again, put together a nice game, keeping his team alive in the game.  The Pirates’ right-hander gave up two runs on five hits through five innings. Both runs came on solo homeruns by Prince Fielder and Brandon Boggs in the fourth inning.
The Brewers opened the game wide open in the seventh inning with five runs, building an unbreakable lead.  The inning was highlighted by RBI’s from Craig Counsell, Casey McGehee, as well as another from Fielder.  Clint Hurdle was also tossed from the game after arguing over a close play at first base, much to the delight of the Milwaukee crowd.
Lyle Overbay blasted a homerun for the Buccos in the top of the eighth, but that run was cancelled out in the bottom half of the inning when Ryan Braun hit a solo shot of his own, his 11th of the season.
With the loss, the Buccos have dropped four straight and fall to 18-21 on the year.  The offense isn’t scoring runs, and as of late, the bullpen is getting roughed up.  Again, Karstens pitched a satisfactory game.  Other than giving up the two solo homeruns, he only gave up three other hits through his five innings of work.  The bullpen fell apart tonight.  Daniel McCutchen gave up two runs in one inning, Joe Beimel gave up a run without recording an out, and Jose Ascanio gave up the solo shot to Braun. 
From an offensive standpoint, it was the same old story again today.  Scoring two runs is not going to win too many games in Major League Baseball.  Andrew McCutchen was the only Pirate with more than one hit.  Other than Overbay’s homerun, the Buccos’ only other run came on Jose Tabata’s sacrifice to right in the fifth inning, scoring Ronny Cedeno. 
The Pirates will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon at Miller Park in the final game of the series against the Brewers.  It certainly won’t be easy tomorrow for Pittsburgh, as they will face Zack Greinke, who had some of the best pitching numbers in the game two years ago, as still has the best stuff in the game.  Kevin Correia will take the mound for the Pirates.
Record Vs. Brewers: 0-4
Record Vs. N.L. Central: 9-8
Record On The Road: 11-10
Overall Record: 18-21
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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