Pittsburgh Pirates Drop Game 3 In Milwaukee


The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 33-39 this season

After winning the first 2 games of their 4 game series at Miller Park, the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night. With the loss, the 33-39 Pirates fell to 5 games back of the Brewers for first place in the National League Central.

Wednesday night’s game was one the Pirates had plenty of opportunities to win. The Pirates failed to take advantage of getting a lot of baserunners early in the game, made a few defensive miscues, had some base running blunders, and Clint Hurdle managed his bullpen poorly. In the end, it all led to the Brewer victory.

Early on in Wednesday night’s game, the Pittsburgh Pirates were snake bitten offensively.

Josh Harrison drew a 1 out walk in the top of the 1st inning and stole second base. Then, John Jaso tattooed a ball that appeared to be on its way to being a RBI double. However, Milwaukee first base Jose Aguilar made a great snag on the ball and threw to second base to double off Harrison to end the inning.

In the top of the 2nd inning, Josh Bell singled and then Andrew McCutchen and Jordy Mercer drew back-to-back walks. This loaded the bases with just 1 out. Chris Stewart then hit a ball that appeared to be on its way to centerfield for a hit. However, Brewers’ second baseman Eric Sogard made a great sliding grab to start an inning ending double play.

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The Pirates finally broke through in the top of the 3rd inning. With 1 out, Adam Frazier tripled. Josh Harrison then hit a bloop double to score Frazier, making it 1-0 Pirates. Harrison, however, would then make a big base running blunder.

He attempted to advance to third base on a pitch in the dirt that did not get very far away from Milwaukee catcher Manny Pina. After originally being ruled safe, the Brewers challenged the play and it was overturned.

Unfortunately, the Pirate lead would not last long.

Orlando Arcia singled to start the bottom of the 3rd inning. Pitcher Junior Guerra then bunted him down to second base. On his sacrifice bunt, Chris Stewart had Arcia out at second base but took the easy throw to first instead. This would come back to bite the Pirates.

With 2 outs, Domingo Santana bounced a RBI single through the left side of the infield. This tied the game at 1.

Pittsburgh threatened to take the lead back in the top of the 4th inning. Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen drew back-to-back walks with just 1 out. However, Guerra was able to bounce back by striking out Jordy Mercer and Chris Stewart to end the threat.

With 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th inning, the Brewers tried to run themselves out of the inning. Trevor Williams walked Keon Broxton, and on the play Hernan Perez took attempted to steal third base.

This was a very poor decision by Perez, and he should have been out as Chris Stewarts throw beat him by a mile. However, David Freese made an incredibly poor attempt at tagging Perez allowing him to be safe at third base.

After Broxton stole second base, Orlando Arcia would be walked intentionally. This brought pitcher Junior Guerra to the plate with 2 outs and the bases loaded. Williams got Guerra to fly out to center field, preventing the Freese miscue from hurting the Pirates.

Adam Frazier collected his second extra base hit of the night when he smacked a 1 out double in the top of the 5th inning. Then with 2 outs, John Jaso hit a RBI double to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. David Freese then struck out to end the inning.

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell should have pulled Junior Guerra after 5 innings. He did not, however, and it came back to bite the Brewers.

Leading off the top of the 6th inning Josh Bell hit his 13th home run of the season. This extended the Pirate lead to 3-1. This was followed by an Andrew McCutchen single. Guerra would then retire the next 3 hitters to end the inning.

In 6 innings of work on Wednesday night Junior Guerra allowed 3 runs on 7 hits, 5 walks, and he struck out 7. Additionally, 5 of the 7 hits the Pirates got off of Guerra went for extra bases. Honestly, the Pirates should have scored more than just 3 runs off the Brewers’ starter.

Trevor Williams started the top of the 7th inning for the Pirates. However, after allowing a single to Keon Broxton and a double to Orlando Arcia he was lifted from the game.

At this point, Clint Hurdle should have gone to Felipe Rivero. The Brewers were sending left-handed slugger Eric Thames to the plate to pinch hit, with the top of the lineup to follow. Instead, Hurdle went with Tony Watson.

Not going to Rivero would come back to bite the Pirates.

Jun 21, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana (16) hits a 2-run homer in the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana (16) hits a 2-run homer in the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Watson allowed a broken bat ground out to Thames. This scored Broxton to cut the Pirate lead to 3-2, but Arcia was unable to advance to third base. He then struck out Eric Sogard for the second out of the inning.

With the right-handed hitting Domingo Santana on deck, Watson was then lifted for Daniel Hudson. Santana would proceed to hit his 12th home run of the season, giving the Brewers a 4-3 lead after 7 innings of play.

Williams threw 96 pitches in 6+ innings of work. He allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and a career high 7 strikeouts. He pitched better than his final line, though. With some better defense and without Tony Watson allowing inherited runners to score Williams easily could have gotten away without allowing a run.

To start the top of the 8th inning, Josh Bell drew his second walk of the game. Unfortunately, home plate umpire Jerry Layne must have had dinner plans as he called a pitch that was nowhere near the strike zone strike 3 instead of ball 4.

Jacob Barnes would allow a 2 out single to Jordy Mercer. Gregory Polanco then pinch hit for Chris Stewart. Like Bell, Polanco would draw a walk. Also like Bell, Polanco had ball 4 called a strike which led to Polanco striking out to end the inning.

An inning that should have saw the Pirates have the bases loaded with just 1 out instead saw just Mercer reach base. Jerry Layne should be absolutely embarrassed by his strike zone on Wednesday night.

After Wade LeBlanc pitched a scoreless bottom of the 8th inning, the Pirates faced Corey Knebel in the top of the 9th. With  1 out, Adam Frazier had a fantastic 8 pitch at bat that ended in a single giving him 3 hits in the game.

Frazier would advance to second base on a wild pitch. Josh Harrison then put together a strong 9 pitch at bat, but it ended in a strikeout. John Jaso then hit a ball that seemed to be well on its way to a game tying single. However, Orlando Arcia made an incredible play to get to the ball and Eric Thames made a great pick on the other end to retire Jaso. The game’s final half inning ended the same way the first one did, John Jaso being robbed of a RBI hit.

Next: A Look At Ivan Nova's Success In Pittsburgh

Wednesday night’s loss was an incredibly frustrating one. This was a game the Pirates could have put in the bag early and failed to do so. Then, poor bullpen management and even worse umpiring by Jerry Layne led to a gut-wrenchingly painful bottom of the 7th and top of the 8th inning. Also, being 5 games out of first feels much differently than 3.

The 4th and final game of this series is scheduled for 2:10 PM tomorrow afternoon. Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates, while the Brewers plan to send Chase Anderson to the mound. With a win tomorrow, the Pirates will win the series and head to St. Louis 4 games out of first place in the division.