Based on this picture alone, we think Clint Hurdle looks like the baddest dude in the league (Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE)

Series Six Pack: Brewers vs. Pirates - Where's the Rum Gone?


Look folks, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. This series against the Pittsburgh Pirates might be the most important of the Milwaukee Brewers season. Except for the next one. And the one after that. And the one after that…

You get the idea. Milwaukee comes into Pittsburgh fully rested and on the hot streak of a lifetime – the team is 22-8 over their last 30 games and if you have somehow failed to pay attention to anything Brewers-related, the Crew is a mere two and a half games back from the second Wild Card Spot.

So is Pittsburgh.

The Pirates, however, have not had it so easy. Despite beating the Chicago Cubs in the wee hours of the morning, things are looking shaky in the Pitt. They are 2-8 over their last ten games, and the media has pulled no punches in going after the classic Pirates collapse angle.

So, what does this series have in store for both teams? We stayed up way past our bedtime with Tom Smith of Rum Bunter to find out.

Reviewing the Brew: Do you think Clint Hurdle knew what he was talking about when he said that the NL MVP should be the ‘baddest dude in the league’? How do Pirates fans feel about Clint Hurdle in general – is his time running out in Pittsburgh?

Rum Bunter: The die hard fans see through him.  He still has an air of phony-ness to him.  Is that even a word?  But let’s give him credit, the guy has done things that haven’t happened in this town in twenty years.

We had him on our podcast and he couldn’t have been more accommodating, going past our allotted time limit by forty minutes.  He sucks you in.  He’s funny especially when we asked him why he bunts so damn much.  He’s not getting fired anytime soon unless the team fails to win five or six more game.  And then, we would still say it’s only even money.

Bottom line, this team isn’t highly talented.  A few players have carried the Pirates this season and those same players are going to need to lead the charge in the Brewers series.  All eyes are focused on Hurdle to see if he continues his poor game management, and more importantly on the couple players who have lead this tam in 2012.

RtB: I’ll come right out with the big question: Ryan Braun or Andrew McCutchen for NL MVP? Who do you got? 

RB: I take McCutchen any day of the week.  (Cough)

RtB: How do Pirates fans feel about this backslide the team has been struggling with? Is there still faith in Pirates nation or do they see it as more of the same old, same old?

RB: I would say it’s 90 percent, same old-same old.

RtB: Name three players (besides McCutchen) who need to have a big series here against Milwaukee?

RB: The.  Pitching.  Staff.   (does that count?) [Ed.'s Note: Yes it does. You are talking to a Brewers fan, remember. We know that hurt.]

RtB: How important do you think it is to have Milwaukee and Pittsburgh both be competitive in the NL Central going forward?

RB: It is imperative.  I see it happening too if the Bucs get their organization together and thinking as a cohesive unit.  But if Pirates owner Bob Nutting doesn’t shake some things up this off-season, it’s still a couple years away.

RtB: If you can’t watch the Pirates in the postseason – Would you rather see the Brewers or the Cardinals?

RB: God I hate saying this.  So much….  I can’t say this.  Oh fu*k it.  The Brewers are fun to watch.  We talked about Braun today at work–if that guy is in Pittsburgh, he’s a legend.  The statue location is already being marked out.  Ya know I stayed for every inning when Braun and the boys clubbed the Pirates 20 to zip a while back?

Don’t get me wrong, we hate the Brewers.  With.  A.  Passion.  But you know what, it’s a healthy, get my money’s worth stab ‘em in the heart with a spoon sort of hate, if that makes any sense, it is 3am brah…

You can see what Tom had waiting for me over at Rum Bunter

In the mean time, you can focus on the fact that a sleepy Pirates team is sending A.J. Burnett out against Yovani Gallardo for the series opener tonight at 6:05 at PNC Park.

Don’t stop #BREWlieving, guys.

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Tags: Milwaukee Brewers Pittsburgh Pirates Ryan Braun