Ryan Braun blowsaway Pirates pitching on seemingly a nightly basis. In the first inning Braun didn’t appear to get good wood on a ball off Pittsburgh Pirates starter Kevin Coreia. It was a three-run bomb to right center field at Miller Park that gave his Brewers a 3-0 lead.
Casey McGhee followed with a solo bomb.
In the second inning after Correia had issued a two out walk, Braun stepped to the plate and delivered a liner into centerfield. The ball leaked past Andrew McCutchen toward the wall. Braun, showing no discomfort in his ankle, legged out an RBI triple.
Just like that the Brewers were flexing their muscle with the opportunity to sweep Pittsburgh out of Milwaukee. Zach Grienke did his part as he retired the first ten Pirates batters before Jose Tabata worked a walk in the fourth inning. Tabata was quickly erased on a Garrett Jones double play ball keeping Grienke at the minimum.
Neil Walker got the first hit, a bomb on the thirteenth pitch, a down and out of the zone breaking ball that had just enough to get out of the yard. It was the start to the biggest inning since 2004. Crazy.
There were a few positives to take from the game, although the Bucs are in the midst of a skid as they head to DC for a pair with the Nats.
The Pirates offense came to life and took away Grienke’s no-hitter in the fifth and worked the former CyYoung winner into a nearly 50 pitch inning. That should certainly pay dividends down the road as the Bucs were able to push the right handers pitch count to 96 in just five innings.
Neil Walker had an incredible at bat off Grienke. The kind of at bat a veteran player displays.
Pedro Alvarez had two knocks.
Steve Pearce came up big in a pinch hit role.
Ronny Cedeno had two big hits. Clint Hurdle said on Saturday the Pirates have decided to let him open it up. Maybe it’s working? Cedeno has reached base safely in ten of his last eleven games.
Loading the bases in the ninth was further proof for me that this team will never simply roll over. It’s not much, but it’s refreshing at least.
Washington might be exactly what solves the Pirates anemia. Stay thirsty my friends.