Correia Falls Apart In The Sixth, Pirates Shutout By Brewers

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images
After last night’s game was postponed and rescheduled to August due to rain, the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates began their now two-game series at PNC Park this evening.  Shaun Marcum and Kevin Correia each took to the mound for their respective teams on an extra day’s rest, so both were expected to be that much crisper and on target for the game this evening.  Both teams entered tonight’s matchup with a 5-5 record, and it’s never too early to gain an edge on a divisional opponent.
Both pitchers came out strong tonight, going through the opposing club’s lineup with apparent ease.  Correia and Marcum each pitched near flawlessly through the first five innings of the game. 
Unfortunately for us Pirates’ fans, Correia was the pitcher who broke down in the sixth inning.  After not allowing a single hit through the previous five frames, Kevin was tagged for four runs in the fifth alone. 
Carlos Gomez’s sacrifice fly to shallow right started the scoring for the Brewers, as Jonathan Lucroy tagged and crossed home from third base, giving them a 1-0 lead.  The big blow came from the bat of Prince Fielder, as it so often has in the past between these two teams.  After Marcum and Ryan Braun reached base, Fielder hammered a monstrous three-run homerun to deep center field, increasing the Brewers’ advantage to 4-0.
Milwaukee continued the scoring in the seventh inning.  Yuniesky Betancourt doubled to deep left center, scoring Nyjer Morgan, and then advanced to third base on a throwing error.  Betancourt scored on Marcum’s sacrifice ground out to shortstop, extending the lead to 6-0 in favor of the Brewers.
As for Correia, he pitched five innings of phenomenal baseball, and then had a REALLY bad inning.  His final stat line read six innings, six runs (four earned), five hits, two walks, and one strikeout, raising his ERA to 2.70.  His mound opponent, Marcum, threw seven innings, giving up only four hits and issuing one walk while striking out four batters, lowering his ERA to 2.55.
As a team, the Pirates’ offense was putrid, managing just four hits throughout the entire game.  Matt Diaz had a two-hit evening, while Pedro Alvarez and Lyle Overbay had a hit a piece.  While their opportunities were extremely limited, the Buccos did have a few chances to cut into the Brewers’ lead tonight, but to no avail. 
On a night like tonight, it’s very difficult to find positives.  The Pirates’ bullpen came in and did a solid job.  Mike Crotta, Chris Resop, and Evan Meek each pitched an inning of shutout baseball.  On the offensive side, the only positive note of the night would be Diaz, who went 2-3, starting in place of Garrett Jones in right field.
It’s safe to say the Pirates are reeling at this point.  They have fallen to 5-6 for the season, and after a promising start to the season, the club has struggled to incorporate strong pitching and timely hitting into the same ballgame for the past week.  Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, and Andrew McCutchen were a combined 0-10 tonight, which is completely unacceptable for the top three hitters in the lineup.  Cutch’s average has dropped to a discouraging .231, while Walker’s isn’t much higher at .273.  While one would anticipate these averages coming up soon, it’s still frustrating to see these averages as low as they are right now.  Currently, Tabata is the only Bucco with an average over the .300 mark.
The Pirates will look to avenge tonight’s loss against the Brewers again tomorrow evening.  Paul Maholm will take the ball for the Buccos.  At 5-6 and a rather difficult road trip ahead, this is a VERY important game for the Pirates to hopefully get back on the winning track before leaving Pittsburgh.
Record Vs. Brewers: 0-1
Record Vs. N.L. Central: 4-3
Record At Home: 1-4
Overall Record: 5-6
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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