Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 10/30/14
The Pirates played a miserable baseball game on Monday night as a lifeless offense and disastrous defense led to a 5-1 loss to the Brewers. The Pirates made three errors, had several poor defensive plays that were not technically ruled errors, and allowed six stolen bases. The combination of A.J. Burnett on the mound and Michael McKenry behind the plate basically invited the Brewers to run at will, and they did just that. McKenry had a dreadful game – every throw was late and/or way off target, he dropped/missed several balls, made a mental error on a bunt in front of the plate, and also went 0-for-3.  Burnett is slow to the plate, but it’s extremely clear that the Fort has become a big defensive liability. Let’s hope Russell Martin is back ASAP (a game like this makes you realize and appreciate what he’s brought to the defense). If you ignore the miserable defense behind him, Burnett was pretty good. He got through seven innings and struck out six while walking zero. He was behind from the start, though, and even with the solid line it was tough for him to get in a rhythm with the Brewers constantly finding holes and stealing bases. AJ did a nice job recovering from a long first inning that escalated his pitch count, and the fact that he made it through seven was probably the highlight of the game for the Bucs. Burnett’s biggest issue this year has been one that’s outside of his control: run support. He fell victim to it again today, as Marco Estrada shut down the Bucs for seven strong innings of his own. The Pirates hit Estrada hard two weeks ago and his last start was horrendous, but he found himself on Monday and pitched an excellent ballgame. The Pirates never mounted a threat and scratched out just one run in the seventh when Gaby Sanchez led off with a double and scored two outs later. Games like this happen over a long season, and you can’t get too upset about them as long as they don’t happen consistently. For the Pirates this year, this game was an anomaly…but it was not an anomaly against the Brewers. That’s what makes it frustrating. Milwaukee came in having lost 9 of 10 and tonight the Bucs looked like the team that was a mess. They Bucs were able to win their last game at Miller Park, but they need to start beating the Brewers at PNC as well. Brewers 5, Pirates 1 / Box / 2013 Record: 21-17 / Next: Tuesday, vs Brewers, 7:05 Source: FanGraphs
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