The Pittsburgh Pirates returned from the All-Star break with a three game set against their division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee has been a tough place for our Buccos to play over the past handful of seasons, but the Brew Crew is not the same team this year. The Pirates had yet another opportunity to show doubters that they are a team here to contend with.
Tonight’s game looked like it would be a pitcher’s duel between James McDonald and Zack Greinke. That was not the case however, as McDonald would leave the game after 4 2/3 innings pitched. He would allow five runs, four earned, on eight hits, while walking five and striking out two batters. Definitely not the kind of performance we are looking for out of J-Mac as the season comes down the stretch. Greinke may have lasted longer, but his numbers were just as bad. He lasted five innings allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Now with awful numbers like that from both starters, it was clear that the offense was dealing in the first five innings. Milwaukeejumped on top first with three runs. Ryan Braun blasted a solo homer and then later in the inning, Rickie Weeks would double in two more runs. The Pirates added a run in the third on a Weeks error. That would lead to a huge fourth inning for the Buccos. Drew Sutton doubled to bring in Rod Barajas. Up next was Neil Walker, who did not disappoint with his three run home run to centerfield.
The Brew Crew collected another run in the fourth, but Pittsburghwas able to counter that run when Pedro Alvarez blasted a long ball to right field in the top of the fifth. With Jared Hughes on the mound in relief, Travis Ishikawa would bring home a run on a RBI single.
It would be up to the bullpens to cool off these bats. Brad Lincoln tried to but he would give up Braun’s second solo shot to tie the game up at six. The game would remain tied until the bottom of the eighth when Cody Ransom would blast a grand slam off of Tony Watson. That would be all Milwaukee would need, even with an Andrew McCutchen solo homer,Pittsburgh would fall by the score of 10-7.
Well things could not have gotten off to a worse start for the Pirates out of the break. One of their best pitchers looked awful, the bullpen had their worst night of the season, and their still appears to be a curse over our Buccos atMillerPark. With the Cincinnati Reds defeating the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds are now tied for the Buccos atop the division. In order for the Pirates to take this series they will need to win the next two games. Tomorrow nights contest will begin at 7:05.
Record vs. Brewers: 2-2
Record vs. N.L. Central: 20-12
Record on the Road: 19-24
Overall Record: 48-38
Let’s Go Bucs!
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