Pittsburgh Pirates 3, Milwaukee Brewers 2: Stars And Stiffs

Aug 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell (55) looks on from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell (55) looks on from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

To quote one of my favorite presidents, “finally, our long national nightmare is over.” The Pittsburgh Pirates have won a game at Miller Park!

The Pittsburgh Pirates nine game losing streak at Miller Park in Milwaukee is over, yay! On Thursday night, the Pirates captured the first game of their four game series with the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 3-2. With the win, the Pirates are now 65-62 on the season.

This Pirates’ win combined with a St. Louis Cardinal loss bring the Bucs within two and a half games of the second National League Wild Card spot. Also, due to their loss to the Kansas City Royals, the Pirates are now just one game behind the Miami Marlins. Anyway, here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from their win on Thursday night.


Center fielder Andrew McCutchen – The resurgence of the Pirates’ center fielder continues. On Thursday night Andrew McCutchen looked like his vintage self. With the rest of the team struggling, McCutchen put them on his shoulder’s and carried them to victory.

Andrew McCutchen finished Thursday night’s game 3-for-5 with a solo home run. Also, McCutchen drove in all three Pirate runs. This, of course, included the game winning hit in the top of the tenth inning.

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Andrew McCutchen got Thursday night’s scoring starting with a two-out solo home run in the top of the first inning. This was McCutchen’s 18th home run of the season, which is second on the team behind Gregory Polanco. Hopefully, the recent success of McCutchen will carry through the season’s final six weeks.

First baseman Josh Bell – Is this kid good or what? Josh Bell just continues to hit and get on base. Thursday night was yet another example of this.

In four trips to the plate Josh Bell had a single and three walks. Through the first 23 plate appearances of his Major League career Josh Bell now has a .565 on-base percentage, .512 wOBA, and a 229 wRC+. Thanks to Josh Bell, the future at first base is very bright for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Josh Bell has been incredibly patient at the plate as a Pirate. Tonight was a fine example of that, as Bell did a great job of laying off some good pitches just outside the zone. He joins Barry Bonds as just the second hitter in Pittsburgh Pirates’ history to have a three walk game within the first ten games of their Major League career.

Start pitcher Chad Kuhl – The great start to Chad Kuhl’s career continued on Thursday night. Kuhl pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed just two runs on five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts. The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 6-1 when Chad Kuhl starts this season.

In 43 2/3 career innings pitched Chad Kuhl now has a 3.50 ERA, 4.23 FIP, and a 44 percent ground ball rate that is trending upward. Kuhl got ten ground ball outs on Thursday night, this included an inning ending 6-4-3 double play in the fifth inning. Chad Kuhl has gone a long way toward locking up a rotation spot heading into 2017.


Shortstop Jordy Mercer – The Pirate shortstop had a rough night at the plate on Thursday. Despite drawing a second inning walk, Mercer had a night to forget.

Jordy Mercer finished the game 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout. This included Jordy leaving three men on base. In the top of the fourth Jordy Mercer struck out after back-to-back singles by Josh Bell and Francisco Cervelli leading off the inning. This strikeout by Mercer effectively ended any Pirate rally that inning.

Third baseman David Freese – David Freese is having a phenomenal 2016 season. Hell, it’s been so good he has earned a two-year contract extension. However, Thursday night was a rough one for Freese.

David Freese was 0-for-4 on Thursday night. This included a pair of strikeouts, and leaving two men on base. I am confident Freese will bounce back tomorrow.

Right fielder Gregory Polanco – Gregory Polanco has been arguably the Pirates’ best player in 2016. However, Thursday night was a rough night for Polanco. On Thursday night, Polanco was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, and he left two men on base.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have won a game in Milwaukee, hallelujah! While the Pirates still have three more in the house of horrors this weekend, this win was a very satisfying one. Game two is Friday night when the Pirates send Ryan Vogelsong to the hill opposite of Matt Garza.