Brewers Offense Continues to Spiral Into Oblivion, Pirates Win
Sep 21, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (55) hits an RBI single against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Fresh off their second 1-0 win of the season the Milwaukee Brewers were back in action Sunday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Brewers sent Wily Peralta (16-10, 3.70 ERA) to keep their slim playoff hopes alive against Vance Worley (7-4, 3.18 ERA).
Both starting pitchers were fantastic today, but that may have been more an issue with the offenses on display. The Pirates capitalized on Wily Peralta’s only mistake of the game to take a 1-0 lead in the seventh, and win the game 1-0.
Neither team managed a run through the first three innings of the game, continuing their offensive ineptitude from yesterday. The Brewers only had three base runners through the first three innings on singles by Aramis Ramirez, Gerardo Parra and Jean Segura.
The Pirates also had three base runners through the first three innings. Travis Snider and Ike Davis drew walks, and Josh Harrison had a single for Pittsburgh’s only hit.
The offensive malaise continued through the fourth and fifth as well. A Ryan Braun single was all Milwaukee could manage and a walk to Andrew McCutchen was it for the Pirates.
Carlos Gomez rolled his ankle walking to the on deck circle before the sixth, but stayed in the game and bounced out to second base, making him 0-for-16 in his last 16 at bats. Worley worked through Gennett and Lucroy for another quick inning.
The Pirates also went three-up, three-down in the sixth, but with a twist. Harrison had his second single of the game, on a bunt this time, but Peralta picked him off.
It was more of the same for the Brewers in the top of the seventh. In the bottom half McCutchen picked up the Pirates’ third infield single of the game. McCutchen took second on a passed ball on Jonathan Lucroy. It was a high pitch that he should have handled.
After striking out Neil Walker, Peralta uncorked a wild pitch to Russell Martin on a 1-2 count to put McCutchen at third. Martin singled up the middle to plate McCutchen and give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
Starlin Marte followed with a single to put two on for Davis, but Peralta came back to strike him out on a badly hanging change up. Lucroy set up low and away, and Peralta threw it up and in for the whiff. Jordy Mercer popped out to Lucroy in front of the plate to end the inning.
Worley continued to dominate the reeling Brewers bats in the eighth striking out Lyle Overbay and pinch hitter Matt Clark before a Khris Davis pinch hit ground out.
Marco Estrada came on to toss the bottom of the eighth for the Brewers. He worked a perfect inning, making it seven scoreless appearances totaling 12 2/3 innings since he got blown up by the San Francisco Giants on August 29th.
Tony Watson came on to work the ninth for the Pirates against the top of the Brewers order, rather than closer Mark Melancon, who picked up the loss last night, because Melancon had pitched three straight games and four-of-the-last-five.
Gomez led off with a single on line drive to right, after trying to bunt for a hit twice and fouling both times. Rickie Weeks came in to hit for Gennett with the left handed Watson on the mound.
Weeks hit a chopper up the middle, and beat the throw to first for the second hit of the inning. Gomez wandered too far off second how ever and ended up out in a run down. Elian Herrera came in to run for Weeks.
Lucroy popped out to short on a 1-2 count after fouling off several pitches from the hard throwing Watson for the second out. Aramis Ramirez got plunked by Watson on a 96-mile-per-hour single to put two on for Braun. Braun flew out McCutchen in center to end the game.
Worley picked up the win and Watson the save. Peralta took the loss. The Brewers loss guaranteed the Cardinals a playoff spot, and all but guaranteed the Pirates a wild card. The Brewers are now 4 ½ behind the Pirates with six left on the season.