Pittsburgh Pirates Snap Seven Game Losing Streak
The Pittsburgh Pirates won a game, yay!
Born to suffer: you’re born, you become a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, you suffer, and then you die. That felt very accurate entering the Pirates’ game with the Brewers on Wednesday night.
Entering Wednesday night’s game the Pirates had lost seven consecutive games and 12 of their last 13. This streak had caused their record to plummet to 68-84 on the season. However, the Bucs were able to get a rare victory on Wednesday night.
The Pittsburgh Pirates appeared to be on their way to their eighth consecutive loss until the bottom of the eighth inning. In the bottom of the eighth inning the Pirates were able to rally against one of the best relievers in the National League. Then in the bottom of the ninth inning the Bucs were able to come away with a 5-4 walk-off victory to improve to 69-84 on the season.
In the bottom of the third inning with the Pirates trailing 2-0 due to solo home runs by Jesus Aguilar and Domingo Santana, their offense would come to life to chase Aaron Wilkerson from the game.
Wilkerson was making his first Major League start and pitching well through two innings. However, Elias Diaz doubled and Jordy Mercer walked to start the bottom of the third inning. Then with one out, Adam Frazier hit a two-run triple to tie the game.
Starling Marte then lined his second hit of the night to center field to score Frazier. This hit gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead. After the Marte single, Wilkerson was lifted for Jacob Barnes.
Barnes would pick Marte off first base and then he got Andrew McCutchen to line out to second base to end the inning. Barnes also pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth inning.
Aaron Wilkerson pitched 2 1/3 innings in his Major League debut. He allowed three runs on four hits, he issued a walk, and he failed to record a strikeout.
For the Pirates, Steven Brault started on Wednesday night. This was Brault’s third start of the season and second-consecutive strong start. In five innings pitched he allowed just the two solo home runs, a pair of singles, he walked one, and he struck out three.
The main reason Brault was pulled from the game is that the Pirates were committed to Brault pitching five innings on Wednesday night and then Tyler Glasnow entering the game. If not for this plan, Brault would have pitched deeper into this game.
Jeremy Jeffress took over for the Milwaukee Brewers in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Pirates would threaten against the Brewers’ righty. With one out Jordy Mercer single and pinch-hitter Chris Bostick drew a walk. Then, Adam Frazier reached on Orlando Arcia‘s 20th error of the season to load the bases with just one out.
Unfortunately, this is where things went wrong for the Pirates.
Jeffress got Starling Marte to ground out to third base. On the play, Mercer was thrown out at third base. Andrew McCutchen grounded out to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth inning Tyler Glasnow issued a leadoff walk. After a strikeout, Travis Shaw hit into a 2-6-3 double play. The double play was turned due to an incredible off balanced throw by Elias Diaz.
Glasnow’s control issues continued in the top of the seventh inning. After issuing a leadoff walk, Glasnow benefitted from Diaz throwing out pinch-runner Quintin Berry attempting to steal second base. Tyler Glasnow would then walk Manny Pina and Neil Walker. After walking Walker, Glasnow’s night ended.
Clint Hurdle lifted Glasnow for A.J. Schugel. Eric Thames stepped to the plate and hit a RBI double off of Schugel to tie the game. After an intentional walk, Schugel walked Stephen Vogt to give the Brewers a 4-3 lead. Schugel then struck out Domingo Santana and got Ryan Braun to pop out to third base to end the inning.
Tyler Glasnow’s first relief appearance of the season was a total and complete disaster. In 1 1/3 innings pitched he allowed two runs on four walks. If not for some great defense by Elias Diaz, things would have been even worse for Glasnow.
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After the Pirates were retired in order in the bottom of the seventh inning, Dan Runzler took over on the mound in the top of the eighth inning. After allowing a double to Travis Shaw and retiring Quintin Berry, Runzler was lifted for Daniel Hudson. Hudson would get back-to-back strikeouts to keep the score 4-3 Milwaukee.
Anthony Swarzak started the bottom of the eighth inning for the Brewers. After allowing a two-out double to Andrew McCutchen, Swarzak was lifted for Corey Knebel. Knebel got David Freese to hit a weak ground ball back to the mound, however, Knebel threw the ball away allowing McCutchen to score making the score 4-4.
Felipe Rivero entered the game in the top of the ninth inning. With two outs and a runner on first base, Rivero issued a four-pitch walk to Domingo Santana. Rivero then got Ryan Braun to fly out to right field to end the inning.
Knebel returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning. To start the inning he walked Elias Diaz who was replaced by pinch-runner Max Moroff. Then with two outs, Adam Frazier recorded his first career walk-off home run. His 6th home run of the season powered the Pirates to a 5-4 walk-off victory.
Things have not gone well for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017 but Wednesday night was a feel good victory. Not only did the Bucs rally to get a walk-off victory over the rival Brewers, this victory also prevented the Brewers from tying the Colorado Rockies for the final National League postseason spot.
Next: Jameson Taillon has been victimized by BABIP
After a day off on Thursday, the Pirates start their final weekend home series of the season on Friday night. The Pirates will send Ivan Nova to the mound to oppose Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05.