Pittsburgh Pirates 3, Milwaukee Brewers 2: Stars And Stiffs

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates started their eight game homestand with a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

The Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 48-45 overall on the season with a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. This victory did not come easy, but in the end a win is a win. Also, Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates faced the only good starting pitcher they will see this series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates appeared to be on their way to a 2-1 victory when closer Mark Melancon had the Milwaukee Brewers down to their final strike of the game in the top of the ninth. However, Milwaukee hitter Hernan Perez was able to sneak a base hit through the infield to tie the game. The Pirates would respond quickly, though, as Josh Harrison tripled on the second pitch of the bottom of the ninth inning and he would score on a Scooter Gennett throwing error. Anyway, here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from Tuesday night.

STARS

Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon – In his first start since June 29th, Jameson Taillon was excellent. The Pittsburgh Pirates young right-hander pitched six innings allowing just one run on five hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. This included Taillon staying in the game after taking a line drive off the head in the second inning.

Taillon did not get into trouble very often on Tuesday night, but when he did he worked out of it. In both the first and second inning Jameson Taillon pitched around having two base runners on with two outs. He also finished the game strong by retiring the final nine batters he faced.

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After Tuesday night’s start, Jameson Taillon now owns a 3.44 ERA, 3.80 FIP, and a 3.40 xFIP on the season. Furthermore, his great control from the Minor Leagues has transitioned to the Major Leagues as he is averaging just 1.32 BB/9. He is also has a very strong 1.18 WHIP.

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen – Something that used to be the norm has become a rarity. This thing that is now a rarity happened on Tuesday night. What is that you may ask? Andrew McCutchen reaching base safely more than once in a game.

On Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder went 1-for-3 with a walk at the plate. McCutchen also scored the Pirates first run of the game on a David Freese RBI single in the first inning. I realize this is probably grasping at straws, but maybe just maybe McCutchen is starting to get going. Cutch also gave Josh Harrison a great whipped cream pie to the face after Harrison’s walk off hit.

behind the Catcher Francisco Cervelli – In his surprising return from the disabled list on Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates catcher played a large role in the Bucco victory. Francisco Cervelli was 0-for-2 at the plate, but he still had a strong night. Cervelli finished the game with a sacrifice fly, a walk, a RBI, and a run scored.

Having Francisco Cervelli back behind the plate is great for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not only did Cervelli contribute at the plate, he also did a great job of handling Jameson Taillon. Welcome back, Cervy!

Second baseman Josh Harrison – Tonight there is a special fourth star, yay! Josh Harrison only had one hit on Tuesday night, but it was by far the biggest of the game. Harrison tripled to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, and would proceed to score the winning run on a Scooter Gennett throwing error.

Josh Harrison has struggled at the plate for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, but he had a huge hit on Tuesday night. In my opinion, this was by far Harrison’s biggest hit of the game. Especially since winning tonight sets up the Pirates nicely to be able to sweep the Brewers.

Stiffs 

First baseman John Jaso – On Tuesday night Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman John Jaso went 0-for-4 at the plate. This included Jaso stranding a trio of runners. As of late, Jaso has really struggled at the plate.

In the bottom of the fourth inning John Jaso came to the plate with two men on and two outs. However, Jaso grounded out to second base to end the inning. Then in the bottom of the seventh inning, he struck out swinging with Jordy Mercer on third base and just one out. I might be John Jaso’s biggest fan, but it is Josh Bell time.

Relief pitcher Mark Melancon – After not allowing a run since April, Pittsburgh Pirates closer Mark Melancon has blown back-to-back saves. On Tuesday night Melancon walked Ryan Braun to lead off the ninth inning, and then gave up a weakly hit single to Johnathan Lucroy that just barely snuck through the infield. After back-to-back strikeouts however, it appeared Melancon would get out of it.

However, Hernan Perez would get jammed with a 2-2 pitch that, like Lucroy, he barely snuck through the infield to score Braun and tie the game at two. Even though I am sure most Pirate fans are ready to run Mark Melancon out of town, I am not. The guy is still one of the best closers in all of baseball.

Next: It's Time For The Pirates To Make Hay

That will do ti for tonight. The Pittsburgh Pirates got this important eight game homestand off to a great start with a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. Tomorrow night the Pittsburgh Pirates will go for the series victory as they send Jeff Locke to the mound at 7:05pm.

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