Pittsburgh Pirates series recap vs. Milwaukee Brewers


The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their streak of solid baseball. Taking 2 of 3 from the pesky Atlanta Braves. Completing the first 7-3 road trip since 2005. The Pirates made their return to PNC Park to play the hated Milwaukee Brewers for 3 games. The Pirates looked to continue their stellar play against the Brew Crew as they have gone 5-1 against them this season entering the series.

It was a disappointing series to be sure. Many Pittsburgh Pirates fans found themselves divided on how to feel about it.  Here now is our easy-to-digest recap of the entire series.

Game One: A.J. Burnett (6-1, 2.20ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (2-6, 4.41ERA)

Game result: Pirates lose 2-0

Winning Pitcher: Jimmy Nelson (3-6, 4.05ERA)

Losing Pitcher: A.J. Burnett (6-2, 2.11ERA)

Save: Francisco Rodriguez (11, 1.29ERA)

  • What went right:
    • A.J. Burnett had yet another stellar performance. A good bounce back after a couple mediocre starts. Going 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and striking out 6.
    • Neil Walker had 3 hits. Going 3-4 on the night.
    • Rob Scahill had a very good relief outing. Going 1.1 innings, allowing 0 runs on 0 hits.
    • Francisco Cervelli and Jordy Mercer were good at the bottom of the line up. Going a combined 2-5.
  • What went wrong:
    • Jimmy Nelson was just as good as AJ Burnett. Going 6 innings, allowing 0 runs on 4 hits.
    • Jonathan Broxton had a rare scoreless outing against the Pirates.
    • Two rain delays totaling over 2 hours prevented the game from having any rhythm.
    • Pirates went 0-10 with Runners in Scoring Position. They left 9 men on base. They were never able to get the big hit.

Game Two: Francisco Liriano (3-4, 3.24ERA) vs. Taylor Jungmann (MLB Debut)

Game result: Pirates lose 4-1

Winning Pitcher: Taylor Jungmann (1-0, 1.29ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Francisco Liriano (3-5, 3.25ERA)

Save: Francisco Rodriguez (12, 1.23ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Francisco Liriano had a solid pitching performance. Going 8 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits.
    • Starling Marte hit his 12th home run of the season to tie the game.
    • Andrew McCutchen had several well struck balls, including a double. Going 1-4.
    • Francisco Cervelli reached base twice. Once on a walk and once via hit by pitch.
  • What went wrong:
    • Offense went silent for the second consecutive night.
    • Taylor Jungmann was in control for most of the game. Going 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits.
    • Aramis Ramirez had a monster home run and had 2 RBI on the night.
    • Jared Hughes allowed the Brewers to score a pivotal insurance run late in the ball game.

Game Three: Charlie Morton (3-0, 2.84ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (3-6, 6.59ERA)

Game result: Pirates win 2-0

Winning Pitcher: Charlie Morton (4-0, 2.05ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Kyle Lohse (3-7, 6.27ERA)

Save: Mark Melancon (19, 2.20ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Charlie Morton was electric again. Kept the Brewers off-balance all night. Especially with his curve ball. He went 7.1 innings, allowing 0 runs on 3 hits.
    • Gregory Polanco set the pace early. Hitting a lead-off double to set up the game’s first run.
    • Pedro Alvarez hit a towering solo home run completely out of PNC Park.
    • Jung-ho Kang busted out of his brief funk by going 3-4.
  • What went wrong:
    • Pirates could never get the big hit to put the game away. Including failing to deliver on a bases loaded, nobody out situation.
    • Starling Marte was thrown out trying to score from 2nd on a hard hit ball to the outfield.
    • Jung-ho Kang was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double and it wasn’t particularly close.
    • Outside of the first 2 innings, the Pirates offense was completely shut down by Lohse and the Brewers bullpen.

Series Takeaways

The Pittsburgh Pirates were able to avoid being swept by the last place Brewers, but I don’t think anyone is happy with scoring 3 runs in a 3 game series. The Pirates had opportunities in each ball game and if some things went their way, we could be talking about a Pirates series win or even a sweep, but over 162 games, you don’t always get the breaks. The starting pitching was more than stellar in all 3 games, which is a continuing trend. The offense was just shut down by a surprisingly well pitched series by the Brewers. All you can do is tip your cap and get ready for the cross-state Philadelphia Phillies. Hopefully the Pirates offense can get back to doing what it is capable of and I truly believe it will.

Series Result: Pirates lose 1-2

2015 win/loss record: 32-27

2015 series record: 8-8-3

Next: Pirates day three draft analysis