Friday, August 31, 2012

Pirates Game 131 Recap - Brewers 9, Pirates 3

Just your typical game in Milwaukee. The Pirates came out and gave up four runs in the first inning and the offense couldn't figure out rookie Mark Rogers again and drop the first game in Milwaukee. This stuff kind of reminds you what games were like when the Pirates couldn't buy a hit in Milwaukee and the way this game started you kind of figured it was going to be "one of those nights."

Really it went all down the drain when you realized that Jeff Karstens wasn't healthy and probably shouldn't have made the start. If you remember he left his last start early because he dinged up his groin and this start it wasn't really ready enough to go. He was leaving a ton of pitches up and hanging all his breaking pitches and had to be taken out because of the same injury. It is a shame that he was out there and put the team behind the eight ball in the first inning but that is what happened and hopefully he can get the injury taken care of quickly and return to the rotation because when he has been healthy he has been really good.

Outside of Karstens the pen did a pretty nice job. Kyle McPherson got the call to replace Karstens and had a little rocky start by giving up a run in the second inning as he hit two btters and walked another before throwing a wild pitch but battled back the one out jam with runners on second and third by getting back-to-back strikeouts. It was a little interesting that McPherson only went 1.2 innings as I would have figured Clint Hurdle would have treated this as a start for McPherson and seen how far he could have went but he turned to Kevin Correia instead. Corriea actually did a really nice job throwing four shutout innings where he only gave up four hits. Logic only tells you that he will probably start tomorrow's game.

Jared Hughes came in and gave a strong shutout inning and somehow the Pirates were still in the game only being down 5-2. That is when the bottom of the eighth happened when the Brewers scored four more runs off newly acquired Hisanori Takahashi and that was pretty much all she wrote. All in all besides Takahashi the pen was good and that is a great thing to see. Not sure if he would have been in there if it was a closer game but come to think of it a three run deficit against the Brewers pen isn't that big of a mountain to climb so I have no idea. Trying to figure out Hurdle's bullpen strategy is like trying to speak French when you have never learned how to speak it.

The offense wasn't bad but it wasn't really all that good either. Pedro Alvarez and Josh Harrison each had multiple hits but there really wasn't much else that happened in the game. The runs that the Pirates scored came on a Garrett Jones home run and an Alex Presley groundout but they left some runs on the bases. Prime example was after the GFJ home run when Alvarez and Michael McKenry each had hits and were on second and third with one out and Harrison poped out and Clint Barmes fouled out to not even give the Pirates a chance at another run. At the time the score was 5-1 and cutting that lead to 5-3 would have been huge in the fourth inning.

The good news about tonight is that the Cardinals and Braves both lost and as I am typing this the Dodgers also are losing. They will not lose any games in the wild card chase but man it would have been nice to gain a game on everyone. All the Pirates need to do is come out and win tomorrow with A.J. Burnett on the mound and set themselves up for a chance to win the series on Sunday. I will be at the next two games so they better win. Hopefully they got this bad game out of the system because this one was bad.

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