Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Milwaukee Brewers 1: Stars And Stiffs

Sep 21, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli (29) talks with pitcher Chad Kuhl (39) during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 21, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli (29) talks with pitcher Chad Kuhl (39) during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in game two of their three game series on Wednesday night. The Bucs have now won six in a row at Miller Park for the first time since 2002.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are back over .500, yay! After defeating the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 4-1 on Wednesday night the Pirates are now 76-75. Due to this, they are now just three games back in the loss column in their pursuit of miraculously earning a Wild Card berth.

In Wednesday’s game seemingly everything went right for the Bucs. They jumped out to a quick 3-0 first inning lead, they got a great start from Chad Kuhl, they played excellent defense, and the bullpen did its job. Here are the Pirates’ three stars and stiffs from Wednesday night’s victory.

STARS

Starting pitcher Chad Kuhl – On Wednesday night Chad Kuhl made his 12th career Major League start. And the young right-handed pitcher continued to show why he could be a fixture in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting rotation for years to come.

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Kuhl pitched six innings allowing just one run on five hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. Chad Kuhl has now pitched at least six innings in seven of his twelve Major League starts. Furthermore, Kuhl has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of those twelve starts.

In his 12 starts Chad Kuhl has pitched 62 2/3 innings. In those 62 2/3 innings pitched Kuhl has allowed just 57 hits, six home runs, he has a 1.18 WHIP, and a 46.7 percent ground ball rate. Chad Kuhl is averaging 6.46 K/9, 2.42 BB/9, and he owns a 3.73 ERA and a 3.90 FIP this season.

Entering the 2017 season Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Chad Kuhl are locks for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ rotation. The reason Kuhl is in this position is due to an excellent rookie campaign in 2016. And for that he deserves a lot of credit.

Second baseman Sean Rodriguez – The incredible September of Serpico continued on Wednesday night. Sean Rodriguez, once again, got the start at second base. However, as per the usual, he would finish the game at first base.

Sean Rodriguez finished the night 2-for-4 with a solo home runs and three runs knocked in. In the first inning with the Pirates leading 1-0, Sean Rodriguez ripped a two-run single to right field. He then hit his 18th home run, a solo shot, in the fourth inning. Serpico is going to become a very rich man this offseason.

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen – The resurgence of Andrew McCutchen continues. In Wednesday night’s game McCutchen had a pair of hits. Cutch also made a great defensive play.

At the plate McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a solo home run. McCutchen’s home run was a solo shot in the first inning to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. This was McCutchen’s 24th home run of the season.

Andrew McCutchen also made a great defensive play on Wednesday night. This play came when he robbed Scooter Gennett of extra bases in the bottom of the seventh inning. Gennett hit a line drive to center field. However, McCutchen made a great break on the ball, tracked it down, and made a catch while in a dead sprint. The catch was so good that Gennett even tipped his helmet to Cutch after he made the catch.

STIFFS

First baseman Josh Bell – Since debuting in the Major Leagues Josh Bell has been one of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ best hitters. However, this was not the case on Wednesday night. In fact, this game may have been the worst game of Bell’s young Major League career.

Josh Bell went 0-for-4 on Wednesday night. This hitless effort included striking out three times. This was Bell’s first career three strikeout game. Hell, entering the game Bell only had ten career strikeouts in 113 plate appearances.

Every young hitter, even Josh Bell, will have bad nights from time to time. I would expect Bell to have a big bounce back performance tomorrow night.

Left fielder Adam Frazier – Much like Josh Bell, all Adam Frazier has done since debuting in the Major Leagues is hit and get on-base. Unfortunately, also like Bell, Frazier had a rough go of things on Wednesday night.

Batting lead off, Frazier finished Wednesday’s game 0-for-5 at the plate. This included Frazier stranding a pair of base runners. Wednesday night was the first 0-for-5 game of Adam Frazier’s young Major League career.

Next: Why Bastardo Has Excelled As A Pirate

Only two stiffs on Wednesday night. Yay!

That will do it for this game. Somewhat unbelievably, the Pittsburgh Pirates have won six games in a row at Miller Park. Actually, who am I kidding? That is unbelievable.

As a result, the Pirates are back over .500 and can sweep their second consecutive series at Miller Park tomorrow night. First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 8:10 PM when the Brewers send Chase Anderson to the mound. The Pirates will counter with Ryan Vogelsong.

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