Pittsburgh Pirates Miss Big Opportunity vs Brewers
With a loss on Thursday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates let a great opportunity slip away
The Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday afternoon. With the loss, the Pirates are now 33-40 on the season and 6 games out of first place in the National League Central.
This series was a big missed opportunity for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After winning the first two games, they had a great shot to make up ground on the first place Brewers this week. They appeared well on their way to doing that when Wednesday night they were 7 outs away from victory. However, they failed to finish off Wednesday night’s game and were defeated on Thursday afternoon.
It did not take the Pittsburgh Pirates long to get a lead on Thursday afternoon.
Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch with 1 out in the top of the 1st inning. After stealing second base, he scored on a 2 out single by Josh Bell. This gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead after half an inning of play.
Unfortunately, the lead was short lived.
Eric Sogard doubled to start the bottom of the 1st inning and scored on an Eric Thames base hit to tie the game at 1. After Ivan Nova induced a double play, Travis Shaw hit his 14th home run of the season to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
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The score would remain 2-1 until the top of the 4th inning. Gregory Polanco led off the inning with his 5th home run of the season, tying the game at 2.
After the Pirates were retired in order in the top of the 5th inning, the Brewers would retake the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Ivan Nova allowed a 2 out single to Domingo Santana, and this was followed by a RBI doubled by Travis Shaw to make it 3-2 Brewers.
Shaw, however, was thrown out trying to advance to third base on the play. This ended the inning.
Josh Harrison would draw a walk to start the top of the 6th inning. He then advanced to second base on a Gregory Polanco groundout. However, Harrison then made the incredibly stupid decision to try and steal third base. Milwaukee catcher Jeff Bandy would throw Harrison out at third, and Josh Bell then flew out to end the inning.
Ex-Pirate Jared Hughes pitched for the Brewers in the top of the 7th inning. He would issue a 1 out walk to Andrew McCutchen. Then, Max Moroff reached on an Orlando Arcia error. However, Jordy Mercer would then hit into an inning ending 5-3 double play.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Brewers would add to their lead. With 2 outs and Eric Sogard on second base, Ivan Nova would walk Domingo Santana. Travis Shaw then delivered a RBI double to make it 4-2 Milwaukee. However, Santana would be thrown out trying to score to end the inning
Ivan Nova had far from his best stuff on Thursday afternoon, however, he battled through and gave his team a chance to win the game. That is exactly what top fo the rotation pitchers do on days they don’t have their best stuff. And, to be honest, he was left in too long on Thursday afternoon.
In 7 innings of work, Nova allowed 4 runs on 11 hits, a solo home run, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, and he threw a wild pitch.
Jacob Barnes took over for the Brewers in the top of the 8th inning. Pinch hitter Adam Frazier would single to start the inning. With 1 out, Frazier would advance to second base on a wild pitch. With 2 outs, Gregory Polanco recorded an infield single. However, for whatever reason, Joey Cora made the horrible decision to send Adam Frazier home and he was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Jhan Marinez pitched the bottom of the 8th for the Pirates. He retired the Brewers in order and needed just 6 pitches to do so. Marinez continues to prove to be another great find by Neal Huntington and his scouts.
Corey Knebel pitched the 9th inning for the Brewers. He would continue his dominant 2017 season by retiring the Pirates in order. He also recorded a strikeout for a 38th consecutive game, one game short of Bruce Sutter‘s record for Major League relievers.
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After splitting this series with the Brewers, the Pirates are now 4-3 against the Brew Crew this season. However, as was said above, this series was a huge missed opportunity. The Bucs will now travel to Busch Stadium in St. Louis 6 games out of first place.
The first game of the weekend series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals is scheduled for 8:15 PM on Friday night. Jameson Taillon is slated to start for the Pirates, while the Cardinals are scheduled to pitch long time Pirate nemesis Adam Wainwright.