For the dozens of Pirates fans(?) who remembered where PNC Park was, tonight’s game was a disappointing one. It was Pittsburgh’s third consecutive loss. For Brewers fans, they witnessed another Milwaukee winning streak in progress, and the continued improvement by the most un-photogenic of our beloved Brewers, Shaun Marcum.
Even with Prince’s two-out three run shot, an account of tonight’s game should start and end with pitching, specifically the job done by Marcum. To be fair, pitching against the Pirates is hardly running a gauntlet, but even a blind squirrel tends to find an acorn. Marcum gave them no such luck. He faced 24 batters tonight with under 100 pitches. 57 of those pitches were strikes and Pirates players only managed to hit four of them, and not until the fifth inning of the game. He struck four batters out and the whole while showed great command and every bit why we are lucky to have him on our team.
The bullpen continued it’s defiance of my low expectations tonight, with three hurlers combining to no-hit the last two innings. Were it not for Braddock’s disconcerting effort to hand out charity bases to the middle of the Pittsburgh lineup, it would have undoubtedly been the brightest combined performance of the year. If anyone here is looking for a Brewer reliever to get on the All-Star team, send all of your votes through Kameron Loe. Tonight he threw 10 strikes on 15 pitches with one K. He is by far and away the most dominant arm we have when you need to hold a lead. Forgive me if I’m fawning too much, but I need to relish the fact that we have bullpen dependability.
Let’s take a second to admit one of our problems is solved: Lucroy is back! The young catcher went 1-4 tonight, but had flashes of his old self before that pesky broken finger, knocking a double in the 7th and eventually scoring on a Carlos Gomez sacrifice. I’m relieved to have him back, if only so we don’t have to deal with inconsistency every day between Nieves and Kottaras. Lucroy calls a good game and is handy with a bat, and it relaxes to me to know we at least have one catcher who can walk and chew gum, if you catch my drift.
In other delightful story lines (Pirates series are chock full of them it seems) Prince Fielder continues to kick ever-living crap out of opposing pitchers. He only had one hit tonight, but it just so happened that his lone hit was a 400-plus foot shot that brought in three runs. That makes the third homer and 10th RBI in the last four games for the Big Guy, and no doubt raising his stock a tick or two. Hopefully this keeps up because for now it seems that as Prince goes, so goes the Crew.
Interesting fun fact: tonight’s official attendance was announced at 8,755 but AP Sports put the actual count as closer to 4,000. I think there were more people in my Freshman dorm than PNC Park tonight.
Well, that’s all I have for you tonight, tomorrow brings us Randy Wolf on the mound, who is 8-3 with 99 K’s against Pitt since 2001. His counterpart, Paul Maholm is 3-6 lifetime against Milwaukee. Hopefully we can hang another W on the Bucs, and maybe someone will actually be in the stadium to see it this time.