The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to limp toward the finish line of their 2019 season
Entering Friday’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers, the two teams were heading in opposite directions. While the Brewers own the best record in all of baseball in September as they surge toward a second consecutive postseason berth, the Pirates own the worst record in baseball since the All-Star Break and are on their way to their worst season since 2010.
Prior to going to Wrigley Field last weekend, the Pirates had won 13 of their previous 20 games. This made it seem like the team could be on their way to finishing their tumultuous 2019 season strong. Well, following Friday’s 10-1 loss against the Brewers, the Pirates have now lost seven games in a row. As a result the team is now 21-44 since the All-Star Break and 65-89 overall this season.
Steven Brault started for the Pirates and struggled from the get go. Brault allowed 3 runs in the 1st inning and this would prove to be a sign of things to come. In 5 1/3 innings of work Brualt allowed 6 runs – 4 earned – on six hits, three walks, no home runs, and six strikeouts.
After being the team’s best starting pitcher from late May through early September, Brault has come unglued of late. In his last three starts he has now allowed 22 runs on 20 hits, six home runs, and eight walks in 13 1/3 innings of work.
At one point Brault appeared to have firmly pitched himself into the 2020 starting rotation. Well, this has since changed. After his last three starts, Brault now owns a 5.07 ERA and a 4.91 FIP this season. That’s the Brault Pirate fans all know and do not love.
The lone Pirate run came on a solo home run in the 7th inning. Adam Frazier slugged his 10th long ball of the year, and cut the Brewer lead to 6-1. Geoff Hartlieb then proceeded to allow 4 runs in the bottom half of the inning.
The only other bright spot for the Pirates on Friday night, as has been the case for most of the season, was rookie Bryan Reynolds. After struggling in recent weeks Reynolds put together a three hit night. This included his 4th triple of the season.
The second game of this series is scheduled for 7:10 on Saturday night. James Marvel (9.00 ERA, 6.22 FIP) will make his third career start for the Pirates. Craig Counsell and the Brewers will counter with righty Zach Davies (3.70 ERA, 4.68 FIP).