Found May 01, 2013 on
Raise the Jolly Roger!:
There are two primary types of Pirates losses in Milwaukee. The first was the one you saw on Monday, when the Bucs just get blown out. Tuesday was different, but just as painful. The Bucs took advantage of whatever makes Miller Park so great to hit in and crushed several homers of their own, but as usual they were outgunned and lost in a long, back-and-forth battle.
James McDonald was predictable for once – it was Miller Park, after all, so “bad J-Mac” showed up. James had no command early on, which hurt him despite having decent stuff (93 MPH fastball, OK curve). He walked four in the first two innings and paid for it with a 3-spot in the second. The Brewers were able to hit him quite a bit as well in the third (two consecutive doubles) and fourth (HBP and then four consecutive hits). The result: 7 earned runs in a hurry. At least he managed to go five innings (which, sadly, is the average duration of a Pirate starting pitcher’s outing this year). This was an ugly outing for James and he will need to turn things around in his next start to avoid potentially losing his rotation spot when Charlie Morton is ready to come up.
The craziest thing about this game might be the fact that McDonald left the game in line for a WIN, despite allowing seven runs. That’s because the Pirate offense had an enormous day. The Bucs finally got to Marco Estrada, who they hadn’t solved in several previous outings. Once again, they put a quick run on the board in the first. Starling Marte led off with a double and scored after singles by Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen. They went on to load the bases with one out but missed a chance to break the game open – Pedro popped out and Inge struck out.
Once J-Mac had put them in a hole, the Bucs resorted to the long ball to dig out of it. It was a startling and very impressive display, really. Gaby Sanchez drilled an opposite field blast in the third to get two runs back. Martin and McCutchen went back-to-back with MAMMOTH blasts in the fifth, keeping the game close. And Starling Marte delivered the biggest blow – a three run homer to dead center with two outs that put the Bucs ahead in the top of the sixth. Suddenly the game had become a thrilling one rather than yet another depressing blowout at Miller.
The Bucs still had to get 12 outs, though, and even though they were able to hand the lead over to the bullpen, you got the feeling it was going to take more runs. Indeed, for only the second time this year (and the first time resulting in a loss), the bullpen failed to protect a Pirate lead. Vin Mazzaro came on for the sixth and gave up a homer on the very first pitch he threw. He then put two more men on base and left the game with a semi-injury, and Bryan Morris cleaned up the mess. Morris came back out for the next inning, though, and yielded a bomb on the first pitch HE threw. 9-8 Brewers.
It was just a one run game, but at that point the usual dread had set in and the Pirates couldn’t muster any more runs. They put two men on base in both the seventh and eighth but couldn’t cash in. After that, Tony Watson had a horrific outing in the bottom of the eighth and ended any hopes of a comeback by allowing three runs on a Rickie Weeks blast.
The Bucs have dropped their first series in a long time and are going to have a tough time avoiding a sweep on Wednesday. The Miller Park horrors are back, and just when it looked like the Bucs were on their way to a statement comeback win, the Brewers instead ended those hopes in utterly painful fashion. Again.
The Bucs are no longer in first – they sit a half-game back of the Cardinals.
One enormous bright spot from the game was Andrew McCutchen. Cutch (who had been mired in a pretty big slump) started hitting the ball hard late in Monday’s game and continued that with a brilliant game on Tuesday – he had four hits – all well struck – and the homer was a towering blast to right center. He’s at his best when he’s hitting the ball hard in that direction.
Former Bucco Tom Gorzelanny picked up the win in relief. He came up huge in the seventh by getting Pedro to bounce in to a DP. Pedro had a brutal game and was the only Pirate starting position player without a hit.
Brewers 12, Pirates 8 / Box / 2013 Record: 15-12 / Next: Wednesday, at Brewers, 1:10
BEST OF MAXIM
Jose Contreras is set to join the Pirates on Friday.
According to Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates plan to add Jose Contreras to the roster on Friday.
Hurdle: #Pirates expect to call up reliever Jose Contreras on Friday in time for start of series v. #Nationals
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) April 30, 2013
Contreras threw an inning in relief this morning with Indianapolis,...
Each week we run our “Top Performers” series, looking at the best pitchers and hitters from the previous week. This year we will also be recapping each month in order to award the Pitcher and Player of the month. Below are the average pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the month of April. The rankings include every pitcher who made at least four...
Jeanmar Gomez will start on Wednesday. Photo credit: David Hague
According to Michael Sanserino and Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates will move Jonathan Sanchez to the bullpen and have Jeanmar Gomez start on Wednesday.
#Pirates move Jonathan Sanchez to bullpen. Jeanmar Gomez will start Wednesday.
— Michael Sanserino (@msanserino) April 29, 2013
Gomez will start Wed for #pirates. JSanchez...
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the pre-season rankings, and links to each prospect writeup can be...
The PNC Park jumbotron has introduced the Pirates’ lineup with some strange and cheesy videos in the past (such as this one), but when I saw this new one on Youtube I couldn’t stop laughing:
So much awkwardness. Some players (Gaby Sanchez) embraced the silly Saturday Night Live theme, some (Pedro Alvarez and Clint Barmes) clearly wanted nothing to do with it, and some (Wandy...
Fransisco Liriano is scheduled to make his season debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 11. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle delivered the news to reporters on Wednesday.
Liriano signed a one year deal with the Pirates in the offseason but has been working his way back from a fractured right arm. The pitcher reportedly injured himself while trying to scare his kids on Christmas morning...
In Altoona this morning, Jameson Taillon will get the start, trying to get back on track after two subpar outings. Today in Indianapolis, Phil Irwin will make his first appearance since his major league debut on April 14th against the Reds. Bradenton’s game Tuesday night was suspended in the seventh inning with the score tied 4-4 and Brevard County batting. They finished the game...
Pirates (15-11) at Brewers (13-11)
8:10 PM–Miller Park, Milwaukee
The Bucs will look to get rid of the Miller Park demons tonight as they take on the Brewers in game two of this series. The recent trend for the Pirates has been losing the first game of a series and coming back to win it, so hopefully that continues. I think even one win in the next two...
In what has almost become a trend, the Pirates used late-game heroics to win a game. What has not been a trend is Pittsburgh winning at Miller Park, which thanks to a four-run eighth inning they did on Wednesday with a 6-4 win against the Brewers.
Pedro Alvarez hit his fifth home run of the season in Wednesday’s win against the Brewers. Photo credit: David Hague
With the Pirates...
MILWAUKEE -- Rickie Weeks was frustrated, so he picked up the phone and called Brewers hitting coach Johnny Narron.
He doesn't usually like to get early work in unless it's after a day off, but Weeks met Narron at the park at 12:30 and went to work in the cage and then on the field during batting practice.
It's hard to know if his diligent efforts paid off Tuesday night...
Corey Hart is happy to be hanging out with his teammates again, even though it'll be a while before he returns to the lineup.
Hart, a two-time All-Star, has rejoined the Milwaukee Brewers as he rehabs from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in January. The first baseman has not played yet this season.
He met up with the Brewers as they completed a weekend series in Los...
I want to say that nothing went right in this game, but that's not true in the strictest sense. The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and then nothing went right from there. Wandy Rodriguez couldn't find the strike zone in the first inning and when he had a chance to get out of the inning with the Pirates still only down 2-1, Clint Barmes booted a double...
MILWAUKEE -- A day after getting shutdown by one of the best pitchers in baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers busted out offensively against a pitcher that was on a pretty good roll himself.
The Brewers jumped on Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez for five runs in the first inning and put on an offensive show from there, blasting five home runs and three triples en route to a 10-4 victory...
This game looked like it was going to be a disaster. Jeanmar Gomez struggled through the first inning with some awful defense behind him, but somehow escaped with only a 1-0 deficit. Pedro Alvarez erased that quickly with one swing of his bat, but then Gomez served up back-to-back homers to Carlos Gomez and Yuniesky Betancourt (the second time in this series they've gone back...
MILWAUKEE -- The game of baseball offers quite a few moments that are bizarre and sometimes just plain unlucky.
Michael Gonzalez's relief pitching debut with the Brewers on April 3 certainly qualified as both. After Gonzalez walked the leadoff hitter, a perfect bunt single followed putting two on with nobody out. Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez followed with a broken bat...