This whole trip was a forgettable one for the Pirates. There were not too many times during the entire stretch of the weekend that you really thought the Pirates had a real chance of winning and when you get some pretty good pitching that is a tough pill to swallow.
The Brewers came in as one of the best offenses in the league and despite a very small sample size they had averaged 5.4 runs and 10.4 hits per game through the first nine games. In the three games against the Pirates they averaged 3.7 runs and 6.7 hits per game. The pitching wasn't the problem this weekend and that makes things even more frustrating.
Today Charlie Morton bounced back from a pretty bad outing at Wrigley Field to throw seven innings, giving up six hits, walking three, and striking out three. Now the three walks aren't good but the sinker worked well and after getting more flyouts than groundouts in his last start he got 12 groundouts and only six flyouts this time around.
The offense managed only four hits, one of which coming from someone batting below the third spot in the lineup, and striking out 10 times. It wasn't good. At one point I think the Pirates struck out in five (or something like that) consecutive at bats. It was bad. OK, it was really bad.
The defense was pretty bad also. Things really came unraveled in the fifth inning. The game was still in doubt with the Brewers leading 2-1. Milwaukee had runners on second and third with only one out and Morton was able strike out Scooter Gennett. Good right? Well, the ball bounced in the dirt and Tony Sanchez went to throw to first and the ball ended up in the right field corner. Two runs score and Gennett to third. This was just bad all the way around, Sanchez never got his feet set and first baseman Travis Ishikawa didn't seem like he had any interest in coming off first base to prevent any of the runs from scoring.
This was really part of the reason why Chris Stewart was signed to play with the Pirates and not keep Sanchez on the team to start the year. It was been widely reported that Sanchez has some problems throwing the ball, sometime with routine throws, and I think that is what we saw here. This wasn't the first time this happen this season and this one was costly. That isn't to say that I think Stewart should be on the team over Sanchez, but there are still some things he absolutely needs to work on if he is going to be the guy that the team needs him to be.
Later in the game there was a chopper that Morton was able to pick up and wasn't able to get a throw off to first. Carlos Gomez took a crazy wide turn at second and when Morton went with a full arm fake Gomez was out to try. Morton did the right thing and ran at him but threw wildly off balance and Jordy Mercer wasn't able to catch a ball he should have caught. Thankfully though Neil Walker was heads up and retrieved the ball and threw out Gomez at home. Really if the circus music was playing at that time I wouldn't have thought I was watching a baseball game. It was bad.
Thankfully the Pirates are done in Milwaukee. The bad part is that they are going to Cincinnati. The Reds haven't been very good this year but the way the Pirates have been playing I don't think it much matters because the game is going to be close.