Pittsburgh Pirates Mauled In Milwaukee On Heritage Night
Friday night was Heritage Night at Miller Park. Facing the throwback Milwaukee Bears uniforms, the Pittsburgh Pirates were mauled by the Brewers.
Injuries and ineffectiveness has left the Pittsburgh Pirates scrambling for starting rotation help. On Friday night, the team turned to their 11th different starting pitcher in 62 games this season as Rookie Davis made his first start of the season.
Unfortunately for Davis and the Pirates, this start would go the way too many starts have for Pirate starters in the last month. Rocking their throwback Milwaukee Bears jerseys while the Pirates honored the Pittsburgh Crawfords, the same uniforms the teams wore last Saturday during Heritage Day at PNC Park, the Brew Crew mauled Davis and the Pirates by a score of 10-4.
Following the loss, the Pirates are now 30-32 this season. This includes being just 1-4 against their divisional rival Brewers.
The night got off to a good start for Davis. He picked up a pair of strikeouts while retiring the Brewers in order in the bottom of the 1st inning. In the 2nd inning, however, Davis would run into trouble.
Yasmani Grandal doubled to start the inning and Eric Thames followed with a 2-run home run. Another hit and a pair of walks loaded the bases with just one out. This led to a Christian Yelich sacrifice fly, and a 3-0 Milwaukee lead.
Facing the hard throwing Brandon Woodruff, the Pirate offense broke through in the top of the 3rd inning.
Elias Diaz singled to start the inning and scored on an Adam Frazier triple. Then with two outs, Bryan Reynolds doubled home Frazier. This cut the Milwaukee lead to 3-2. Reynolds would then make a rare mistake as he was picked off second base to end the inning.
This double gave Reynolds a 15-game hitting streak. Reynolds is just the 8th rookie in franchise history to have a hitting streak of at least 15 games. It’s also hit second hitting streak of 10+ games this season, as he started his MLB career with an 11-game hitting streak.
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Davis woes would continue in the 3rd inning. After issuing three walks, he found himself in a two out bases loaded jam. To his credit, he was able to get Woodruff, who is arguably the best hitting pitcher in baseball, to groundout to end the inning.
In 3 innings of work Davis allowed 3 runs on four hits, five walks, and two strikeouts. He struggled with control throughout the night. He did not throw nearly enough strike, and many of the strikes he threw were meatballs that got crushed.
Sadly, the poor outing from Davis was a predictable one. While removing Nick Kingham from the rotation was overdue, replacing him with Davis was not the correct move. The pitcher to replace Kingham should have been top prospect Mitch Keller, who, by the way, struck out 13 batters in 5 scoreless innings of work for the Indianapolis Indians on Friday night.
Clay Holmes followed Davis and took over in the bottom of the 4th inning. The 4th inning would prove to be a tough luck one for Holmes. Yelich reached on an infield hit with one out in the inning and stole second. After recording a strikeout, Holmes got burnt on a weakly hit Mike Moustakas hopper that snuck through the left side of the infield. Moustakas hit plated Yelich and made the score 4-2 Brewers.
The 4th inning was the lone inning of work for Holmes. In the top of the 5th inning with two outs and a runner on first base, Jose Osuna pinch hit for Holmes. Osuna would battle a nine pitch at bat before striking out to end the inning.
After Nick Kingham fired a 1-2-3 bottom of the 5th inning, the Pirates cut Milwaukee’s lead back down to 1 run in the top of the 6th inning. Kevin Newman led the inning off with his 2nd home run of the season and his MLB career. This cut the Brewer lead to 4-3.
In 6 innings of work Woodruff allowed 3 runs on four hits, a walk, a home run, and he struck out 10. Woodruff has allowed just 32 earned runs in 73 2/3 innings pitched this season. Against the Pirates, however, he has allowed 8 earned runs in 11 innings of work. The Pirates are the one team that has had success against Woodruff this season.
Kingham’s season long struggles continued in the 6th inning when he allowed a 3-run home run to Ryan Braun. This made the score 7-3 Brewers. The score grew to 10-3 when Kingham was charged with 3 more runs, 2 earned, in the 7th inning before Geoff Hartlieb relieved him and recorded a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
At this point there is zero reason for Kingham to continue to be on the Pirate roster. He now owns a 9.61 ERA this season and provides nothing of value to this team. Not one single thing. If he is not designated for assignment when Corey Dickerson and Jung Ho Kang return from the IL on Saturday it would be a big mistake.
Reynolds continued his ambush on MLB pitching staffs when he collected his second RBI double of the night in the 8th inning. His 12th double of the season scored Jacob Stallings and made the score 10-4 Brewers.
The second game of the series is scheduled for 4:10 on Saturday afternoon. In a repeat of last Sunday’s pitching match up, Jordan Lyles (3.38 ERA, 3.41 FIP) will be looking to bounce back after back-to-back poor outings. He will be opposed by Zach Davies (2.20 ERA, 3.92 FIP) who has been excellent for the Brewers this season.