Sunday, August 14, 2011
Game 119 Recap - Brewers 2, Pirates 1 (10 innings)
Another game in Milwaukee and another way to lose for the Pirates. This one, like the one yesterday, was on the hitting as they couldn’t drive in runs with runners in scoring position and wasted the third excellent start in a row from Charlie Morton in a 2-1 extra inning loss.
The game started off better than most for the Bucs. They scored a run in the first inning on back-to-back doubles from Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen and that lead almost held up for the game. It didn’t though. Ryan Braun singled home a run in the bottom of the eighth and Nyjer Morgan hit a sacrifice fly in the tenth to win it.
Morton was absolutely outstanding. He went 7.1 innings and only gave up four hits and walked two. He also struck out five batters and recorded 12 ground ball outs as opposed to only four fly ball outs. A bugaboo for Morton this season has been left handed hitters and today the Brewers stacked the lineup with five of them and Morton dominated them as well. Before the game left handed hitters were hitting over .380 against him and today he held them to a 1-for-14 with a walk. Tonight Morton totally revamped the way he threw against lefties. Before tonight he would stay away from them and they would key in on the outer half and pepper the left center gap. Today he worked the inside corner and kept the hitters guessing and he even had Prince Fielder visibly frustrated on the field. If he continues to mix in the inside pitches against lefties then he will be much more successful.
The offense was pretty bad. The Pirates did have their chances but only 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. That isn’t going to cut it, especially when you are playing a team like the Brewers who can put runs on the board in a hurry. The only hit with a runner in scoring position came in the first inning that scored Jones.
McCutchen had a pretty tough day. Pitchers are now starting to pitch him high and tight and really crowd him and that has him in a “pull happy” approach to the plate. Pitchers are now able to throw on the outer half and Cutch just isn’t able to get there. He hasn’t struggled this bad in a long time and I am pretty confident that he will snap out of it but it is frustrating nonetheless.
The Pirates open up a home series tomorrow against the Cardinals. Who knows what will happen. Pujols is almost certain to go deep though.