Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 5/17/13
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The Pirates beat the Brewers…again! I could get used to this. Thursday’s win was the Bucs third in a row and fourth in the last five games against Milwaukee. Francisco Liriano made his second start (first at home) as a Pirate, and it was just as strong as his debut. After a shaky first in which the Brewers brought home one run, he settled down and kept them at bay through the sixth inning (almost). He struck out seven and his stuff once again looked extremely sharp – good velocity and all kinds of movement on all his pitches. The control was not a big issue (three walks) and while it would’ve been nice to see him complete six innings, a Clint Barmes error was the primary reason he couldn’t finish the job. Justin Wilson worked out of the jam for him and it was not a big issue. The Pirate offense couldn’t break through against Hiram Burgos early on despite tallying hits in each of the three innings, but the red-hot Clint Barmes doubled in a run in the fourth. Yes, Barmes really is red-hot. The Bucs kept things rolling in the fifth when Starling Marte reached on a bunt and Travis Snider bombed a looooooooong homer for his first of the year. It rolled in to the Allegheny and was estimated at 458 ft. Snider also had two more hits on the night, boosting his average to .292. After grabbing the lead in the fifth, the Bucs just piled on in the sixth. Barmes reached on an error, Marte doubled, and the middle of the lineup delivered four consecutive RBI singles to turn the game into a blowout. Blow outs are always nice, but this one was even nicer because the back of the bullpen needed a rest (and because it was against Milwaukee). Wilson, Bryan Morris, and Jose Contreras finished the job with no problems. One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is the Pirates defense in the first inning. Liriano wasn’t off to a great start and had walked the leadoff man, but Russell Martin threw him out trying to steal (even though the pitch was in the dirt). Later, Ryan Braun pounded a ball to center and Andrew McCutchen made one of the best catches of his career: Here’s your #Clutch Pic of the Night. Seriously….RT this–> twitter.com/Pirates/status… — Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 17, 2013 Once the Bucs were out of that inning, Liriano was able to get going and they eventually took control of the game. It might have been different if not for those two plays. Notes: Snider and Pedro Alvarez each stole a base. Technically Snider’s homer was his first, but you may remember he was robbed of one earlier this season. Still, he hasn’t shown  much power since joining the Bucs – but tonight we saw he clearly has plenty of it. The Bucs are seven over .500. They didn’t get to that point until June 30th of last season. The Bucs are in 3rd place, but they’d be in 1st in either of the other two NL divisions. St. Louis and Cincinnati are playing very well (and the Pirates have winning records against both so far). The Brewers are now in last place. Pirates 7, Brewers 1 / Box / 2013 Record: 24-17 / Next: Friday, vs Astros, 7:05 Source: FanGraphs
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