The Pirates kicked off their most recent road trip in a similar fashion as they have in most trips away from PNC Park this season…terribly. This time, the misery took place in Miller Park against the N.L. Central foes Milwaukee Brewers.
Friday, August 27: The Pirates jumped on top early in the 2nd inning on Ronny Cedeno’s RBI single, scoring Lastings Milledge. Chris Snyder’s solo shot in the 5th gave them a 2 run lead, and, given James McDonald’s solid start, though 5 innings at least, it appeared as though our Buccos had the game in hand.
The Brewers cut the lead in half in the 6th inning on Corey Hart’s RBI single. But the 7th frame is where they really did their damage. The inning included a 2-run triple, a 2-run double, another RBI double, and an RBI single, all of which completely turned the contest around, and all of a sudden, the Brewers were blowing out our Bucs. McDonald’s final line read 6.1 innings, 6 runs on 7 hits, walking 2 and striking out 7, on his way to 4th loss of the season.
To add to the frustration of losing complete control of the game in a matter of 2 innings, the Pirates squandered a number of opportunities and left way too many men on base to tally a victory.
Saturday, August 28: Prince Fielder was the hitting star of the game, and Lorenzo Cain was the hero of the night, by delivering the game-winning RBI single in the 11th inning, scoring Ryan Braun and giving the Brewers an 8-7 victory at Miller Park on Saturday night.
Fielder blasted 2 HR on his way to a 3-hit evening. The Pirates, on the other hand, after jumping out to a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half, could only muster 1 run over the rest of the game, and Milwaukee tallied one run at a time, inning after inning, until, once again, they had overtaken the lead from the Pirates for the second straight evening.
Pirates’ starter Zach Duke had a far from a solid evening, giving up 4 runs on 9 hits through 5.1 innings. In all, they used a total of 7 pitchers, but the bullpen certainly didn’t fair much better than Duke on this night.
On a brighter note, the Pirates came alive offensively, as Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, and Chris Snyder all homered. Both Tabata and Walker contributed 3 hits, while Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Doumit eached added 2 hits in the losing effort.
Sunday, August 29: For the third game in a row, the Brewers had too much firepower for the Pirates to compete with, and Milwaukee completed the sweep against our battlin’ Buccos at Miller Park with an 8-4 victory. Future hall-of-fame closer Trevor Hoffman’s 599th career save cemented the sweep for the Brewers.
Ryan Braun hit for a perfect 4-4, including a 2-run homerun in the 4th inning, and a line-drive single off of Evan Meek’s pitching wrist in the 8th inning. In addition to Braun’s perfect afternoon, George Kottaras tallied 3 hits of his own, while Chris Dickerson contributed 3 RBI.
Ryan Doumit went 2-2 with a homerun and 2 walks for the Pirates, who also got another long ball from Neil Walker in the 1st inning. Lastings Milledge and Delwyn Young also chipped in 2 hits a piece, but the Pirates squandered too many opportunities throughout the game, including 2 separate multiple runners on with no outs situations. As with many cases, when the Pirates spoil such chances, they can never pull out the victory.
So the Pirates’ woes at Milwaukee’s Miller Park continue. At this point, the Buccos simply don’t have enough talent on the field to be able to blow opportunities and scoring chances, and still have a shot to win. The Brewers, who are far from a good team, were able to hold off the Pirates, despite Pittsburgh tallying a total of 13 runs in the series, which, sadly, is a high number for Bucco fans. They will now have to travel to Chicago for a 3-day date with the Cubs at historic Wrigley Field to hopefully salvage some dignity on this road trip. One thing is for sure…things can’t get much worse at this point for Pirates’ fans and players.
Current Record: 43-87
And…As Always…Let’s Go Bucs!