Pittsburgh Pirates: One Bad Inning in Each Game Leads to Being Swept

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

While the Pittsburgh Pirates were swept in a three-game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee, it was one bad inning in each game that led to their defeats

The Pittsburgh Pirates entered Milwaukee on Monday off to a hot start on the season. After taking three of four at PNC Park against the Washington Nationals, the Pirates rolled into Milwaukee off to a 5-4 start this season.

As we have seen many times in the last 15 years or so the Pittsburgh Pirates were swept at their house of horrors in Milwaukee. After being swept in a three-game series against the Brewers the Pirates are now 5-7 overall on the season, and 1-2-1 in their four series played.

While the Pirates were swept in Milwaukee it was a strange series. The Pirates allowed a total of 15 runs, with 12 of those 15 runs coming in one of three innings. It was truly three innings that sunk the Pirates on their way to being swept by the Brew Crew.

In Monday’s 6-1 loss starting pitcher Zach Thompson surrendered 5 runs, including a Christian Yelich grand slam, in the 4th inning. JT Brubaker allowed 4 runs in the 2nd inning of game two, the Brewers only scored 1 other run in a 5-2 victory. 2 of the 4 runs Brubaker were unearned following an error by Kevin Newman. To be honest, Brubaker should have gotten out of the 2nd inning having allowed just 2 runs.

Then in Wednesday’s series finale Milwaukee got 3 of their 4 runs in the 7th inning. These 3 runs came via a 3-run home run by Keston Hiura, a 3-run blast off of Miguel Yajure that followed two very weakly hit base knocks. The Pirates easily could have gotten out of the 7th inning on Wednesday with just 1, if not zero, runs allowed.

Overall the Pirates pitched well in the series. The pitching staff allowed 13 earned runs in 24 innings pitched in the series. However, outside of their 3 bad innings they allowed just 3 earned runs in 21 innings pitched.

Now, these innings are not the only reason the Pirates were swept. After all, the Pirate offense went 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the series. This led to the Pirates stranding 16 base runners in the three-game set. With another two or three hits with RISP, even with the one bad inning in each game, who knows what may have happened.

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While the Pirate offense wasted too many opportunities in the series, had it not been for one bad inning in each game they would have won at least one game in Milwaukee. Hell, if not for these innings they likely would have take two of three from the Brewers. Some times baseball can be really, really frustrating.