The Pirates did what they were supposed to do against a team that started a guy named Scooter Gennett to hit fifth in the lineup. That isn't as much a shot at Gennett, who played well against the Pirates in their last series, but just how thin the Brewers have been thanks to injuries and not being a good team. Charlie Morton did his thing and despite the Brewers grabbing the early lead it really didn't matter.
I was actually at the game today. It was a nice day outside but there were very little Brewers fans at the game. I have lived in the Milwaukee area for about three and a half years and for many games (like, a lot) that I have been to there have been only handfuls of Pirates fans at Miller Park. That coupled with a nearly packed stadium made it tough for Pirates fans to go there over the recent past to see them lose. Today marked that turning point. The Brewers are bad and there were very little people at the game. This wouldn't really be a noticeable thing if it were just a regular day game but this was a holiday game. Most people had off work and school and this was a prime chance to go to the park for one last time and take your kids and have a good time. Almost every single game I have been to the lots have been jam packed with tailgaters but today there were lots bare that usually filled up two hours before the game. This has a lot to do with the baseball ineptitude of the Brewers but also the suspension of Ryan Braun. As Pirates fans we know what it is like to go to the ballpark late in a lost season to watch the Pirates but it was a little weird seeing that in an opposing park on a great day to be at the park.
Back to the game though. Charlie Morton is the Pirates number three starter. I really don't think there is anything more that Chaz needs to prove. Although the Brewers lineup isn't that deep, or good, he went seven innings giving up a pair of runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks. He enduced 13 ground balls and did what Charlie Morton usually does. Over his career he has been a hit or miss guy but for a majority of this season he has been highly consistent and highly effective. Really what the Pirates need right now.
Offensively it was all good. The Pirates collected 11 hits and used a huge three run blast from Neil Walker in the seventh inning to break open a tight game. Walker hasn't really showed the power that he did a few years ago but when he does flash the power it comes in a big way. This was a bomb to right-center and it was gone as soon as it hit the bat. Awesome to watch and good for Walker who has been really good in the second half of the season.
Jose Tabata was probably the best hitter in the lineup today. He went 3-for-4 with a couple of huge run scoring hits and despite what many people think of him he has been a pretty good option for the Pirates this season. With the Bucs down 1-0 Tabata singled home Clint Barmes in the third with two outs and then singled home Barmes again in the fifth for the go ahead run. People will label him as lazy with an attitude problem and no drive but this season he's hit .280.346/.414. What is so bad about that as a fourth outfielder that is going to fill in when someone gets hurt?
Clint Barmes had a pair of hits (including a double) and McCutchen also had a pair of hits. A nice spread out approach today that led to a really nice win.
The Cardinals lost to the Reds today so the Pirates are ahead of the NL Central race by a game. The Cardinals and Reds play three more times so a couple more wins against the Brewers would be really good for the Pirates before going to St. Louis this weekend.