Pittsburgh Pirates Walked Off by Milwaukee Brewers in Heartbreaking Fashion
By Noah Wright
Once again, the Pittsburgh Pirates have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory
The Pittsburgh Pirates played the second game of their four-game wrap weekend around series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night. This was a wild game, filled with many ups and downs. But sadly, it ended with a very depressing 9th inning where the Pirates looked like they might pull out a win.
With the heart breaking loss, the Pirates are now just 9-21 this season. They have also lost the first two games of this four-game series after sweeping the double header they played against the St. Louis Cardinal on Thursday.
Let’s breakdown tonight’s game.
The Pittsburgh Pirates opened up the scoring in tonight’s game. After starting off the game with two lead off singles from Erik Gonzalez and Cole Tucker, things almost seemed to come to a hault when Kevin Newman hit a ground ball to Brewers’ third baseman Eric Sogard. Sogard got Gonzalez out at home, but Josh Bell turned the tides with a sac fly to right field. This won’t be the last we hear of Bell’s contributions to tonight’s game.
Tucker led off the third inning with a single, but was almost stranded. Though Newman advanced Tucker to second on a ground out to second baseman Luis Urias, Bell then grounded out to the other side of the base to the shortstop, Orlando Arcia. But catcher Jacob Stallings continued to prove to be the most underrated player in baseball, driving in Tuck on a double.
The Pittsburgh Pirates then went on to score two more runners. The first was after a lead off triple by Gonzalez. Though Tucker was unable to advance Gonzalez, Newman scored him with a sacrifice fly to center fielder Ben Gamel. Bell tacked on another run with a long ball. Hopefully, this is the start of a hot run for Josh Bell.
Gonzalez, Tucker, Adam Frazier, and Bell all had multi-hit games.
JT Brubaker got the start today, but started off to a bit of a bumpy first two innings. He gave up a first inning solo-home run to 2018 MVP, and 2019 MVP runner up Christian Yelich, which tied the game at one run a piece. Then, he really danced through the raindrops in the second. After striking out catcher Omar Narvaez, he gave up a double to Gamel. Arcia advanced him to third on a single, putting men on the corners. He then walked right fielder, Jace Peterson, to load the bases. Brubaker was able to get Sogard to ground into a fielder’s choice, but then walked Luis Urias, letting the Brewers take the lead.
But after this, Brubaker really settled down. He only let one man reach base, that being a walk to Justin Smoak. But he went on to rack up four strikeouts, two of which came from one of the newest Pirate killers, Keston Hiura.
Lefty Sam Howard pitched a perfect 6th inning, striking out Omar Narvaez, and then gave away to Chris Stratton. Though he gave up a home run, the second of the year for Stratton, to Arcia, he sat down the next three batters, striking out Peterson, and getting Sogard and Narvaez to ground out.
Southpaw Nik Turley then came in, and that was when the wheels fell off. Turley let Yelich reach with a double, and then hit Keston Hiura with a curveball that nicked his foot. However, Turley nearly pulled a houdini, but fell just short. Turley then struck out left handed killer Jed Gyorko, who hit two home runs on Friday, and then got Braun to fly out to shallow left field. On a 1-2 count, pinch hitter Avisail Garcia just barely pulled a ball fair by meer inches over the third base bag, which scored both Yelich and Hiura.
The Heartbreaking 9th
The Pirates started out the 9th inning down by one run, against Josh Hader who has not let up a single hit all year. Hader started out the inning walking Gonzalez, who had a 1.2% walk rate entering today. After Tucker struck out, Newman and Bell drew two more walks to load the bases. Hader failed to hit the zone with his next eight pitches, walking both Stallings and Frazier. This gave the Pirates a one-run lead. After Hader was pulled for Devin Williams, Reynolds grounded into a fielder’s choice, Polanco hit a line drive on a 2-2 count that Peterson was barely able to snag as he went into a diving catch.
So, with a one run lead, the Pirates put in Richard Rodriguez to close out the game, but led off the inning with a walk. Then, on a 2-1 count to Sogard, who has been a real thorn in the Pirates’ side throughout his career, ended it with a two run home run, the 25 long ball of his career. This capped off a very heartbreaking 9th inning.
The Pirates will play the Brewers tomorrow at 2:10 PM Eastern. Steven Brault (4.80 ERA, 670 DRA), who’s had a scoreless outing three of the five times so far he’s appeared in games, will face off vs the Brewers’ ace Brandon Woodruff (3.19 ERA, 3.46 DRA).