Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 10/25/14
The Bucs knocked off the Brew Crew again on Wednesday night, making it two in a row and three out of four against Milwaukee. They own the Brewers! Wandy Rodriguez was excellent – far better than he was the last time he faced these Brewers. He pitched much like he did in his first few starts of the year – lots of strikes and quick outs with a couple hits mixed in but minimal solid contact. He breezed through six shutout innings and only faced one major threat. That came in the fourth when Jonathan Lucroy led off with a triple, but he worked out of it with two pop ups and a groundout. Rickie Weeks took Wandy deep as he appeared to run out of gas somewhat in the seventh, but overall the lefty had a fantastic night. He struck out five and walked just one. The struggling Yovani Gallardo was also effective, but the Pirates FINALLY came up big with a runners in scoring position against him. Despite the win on Tuesday, they went 0-for-15 with RISP in that game, and added an 0-for-3 to that figure on Wednesday before Neil Walker finally snapped it in the sixth. A Starling Marte leadoff double and two one-out walks had loaded the bases for the Bucs, and Neil lined one right up the middle to score two runs. It was a nice piece of hitting and was extremely significant considering that streak and the fact that the game was tied 0-0 at the time. Neil’s big hit and Wandy’s strong outing enabled the Bucs to hand a 2-1 lead to the usual Mark Melancon & Jason Grilli combo, and as usual both were brilliant. Best 1-2 combo in baseball? You can’t argue with the numbers they’ve put up so far. A Milwaukee error in the bottom of the eighth gave the Bucs an insurance run they didn’t need. Notes: Andrew McCutchen stole two bases. The Brewers stole zero bases. Russell Martin‘s defensive impact is easy to see – and not just by preventing SB’s. He also made a great play to throw out a runner at first when a strikeout pitch bounced a good ways away from him, and he might have helped get a couple big strike calls with his famous “pitch framing” ability. Brandon Inge and Gaby Sanchez both made bad baserunning outs at third, potentially costing the Bucs a few more runs. Good thing they didn’t need them tonight. Pirates 3, Brewers 1 / Box / 2013 Record: 23-17 / Next: Thursday, vs. Brewers, 7:05 Source: FanGraphs
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