Andrew McCutchen has become the unquestioned leader of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pirates Brewers Series: It's Go Time for Andrew McCutchen's Bucs

Three games in Milwaukee....

Three games in Milwaukee….

Pirates Brewers and this time it really, no….seriously…it really matters for the Bucs.  The Pirates have won just three of the thirteen games against the hated Brewers. The Pirates have given away leads late in games and even got into an Easter Sunday brawl against the Brewers.

Pirates Brewers Easter Sunday brawl

Pirates Brewers Easter Sunday brawl

The Pirates have done just about everything but win against the NL Central leading Brewers. But make no mistake this weekend is a must win series for the Pirates.

A (nother) series sweep by Milwaukee at Miller Park, all but dooms the Bucs already slim chances of a National League Central crown in 2014. The Bucs have been awful on the road this season including Milwaukee where they have dropped five of six.

The starter tonight for Milwaukee will be right hander Yovani Gallardo and Pittsburgh will send Jeff Locke to the bump.  The Brewers are protecting a 1.5 game lead while the Pirates are six games out.  The NL wild-card standings show the Bucs 2.5 games back.    The pitching matchups heavily favor the Brew Crew with Wily Peralta, and his 15 wins, going against #VolquezPower Saturday and ‘Miniscule ERA” Mike Fiers going on Sunday against Vance Worley.

Aug 18, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6) rounds the bases after hitting his second solo home run of the game against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If only the Pirates could stop making mental mistakes, such as all those TOOTBLANS.   If only the Pirates could score early and often, rather than looking for a comeback.  The Brewers pen has been a strong one this season.  Offense will be paramount and the Bucs need Andrew McCutchen to have a series, Starling Marte and Travis Snider to remain hot, and we look for Neil Walker to get his swing back at the House of Horrors. But make no mistake, for the Pirates to win in Milwaukee, Marte & Cutch need to carry the load.  Marte has been insanely hot, this weekend it’s time for Cutch–who is hitless since returning from a rib fracture- to join the show.

Starling Marte will be playing beside Andrew McCutchen for a few more years.

Starling Marte will be playing beside Andrew McCutchen for a few more years.

It starts in the crucial game one tonight where the Bucs need to somehow solve Gallardo.  The Milwaukee right hander has pitched very well against the Bucs in his career.  He is 3-1 in his last four starts and shut down the Dodgers last time out giving up just one run.  Look for Cutch to do damage, as he has hit three bombs off Gallardo in his career to go with a .306 average.  Russell Martin, who will be well rested, also hits Gallardo well. Unfortunately, the Brewers have feasted on Locke making tonight’s game absolutely crucial.  The southpaw has gone six innings just one time in his last four starts.  Brewers Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez are players that Locke must control, as they love the lefty’s pitching. On Saturday, the Pirates send Edinson Volquez to the mound.  All the Bucs do is win when Eddie takes the bump. Sunday, Fiers goes for Milwaukee.  Take a guess who loves hitting off the rather unknown, but- insanely- effective- in -2014 Brewers starter?  You guessed it Cutch.

Andrew McCutchen weekend in Milwaukee

Andrew McCutchen weekend in Milwaukee

The reigning NL MVP has rocked Fier with six hits in 11 at bats.   And the important stat—four of those hits have left the yard.    The Brewers suck against Sunday’s starter Worley. Don’t be shocked when the Bucs bring home a series win and get Pittsburgh buzzing about baseball again.   It is going to ride on the shoulders of their MVP—so look for Andrew McCutchen to have a weekend in Milwaukee.  *crosses fingers

The House of Horrors

The House of Horrors

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