There was a time when the Brewers thoroughly dominated the Pirates at Miller Park, though those days may be coming to an end. Although Milwaukee is 55-17 since 2007 against Pittsburgh at home, they have lost their last two series against the Pirates dating back to last year. With a 10-2 loss on Sunday, the Brewers now sit at the bottom of the NL Central at 1-5 and are off to a rough start.
“Obviously we’re not where we want to be,” said Manager Ron Roenicke. “I’m just looking at game to game.”
After an atrocious outing on Opening Day that saw Kyle Lohse go 3 1/3 innings and give up 8 earned runs, his performance yesterday was slightly better. After five innings of one run ball holding onto a 2-1 lead thanks to a two run shot by Carlos Gomez in the third, Lohse found himself pitted against Andrew McCutchen with runners on the corners. Lohse left a first pitch slider hang over the edge of the plate and McCutchen took full advantage, sending a no doubt three run shot to right center, giving the Pirates all the runs they needed to win this one.
“That was just a terrible pitch to McCutchen,” said Lohse. “For me, that was the ballgame; making a bad mistake in a bad situation.”
McCutchen, who sat out last night with some left knee discomfort, came in and made an impact, going 2-5 with 4RBI’s, three of which came off his second home run of the season.
“I’m not the type of person that likes to take days off,” said McCutchen. “It was good we were able to come up and I was able to do something to help the team out.”
The Brewers were scheduled to face the ace of the staff in Francisco Liriano, but instead went up against 24 year old right hander Casey Sadler, called up from Triple-A Indianapolis due to Liriano being on paternity leave. It was only his second major league appearance and he pitched well in five innings, giving up two earned while also collecting his first Major League win.
“You think you’re missing Liriano and you’re getting a break, and then he comes out and throws a good game against us,” said Roenicke. “Sometimes you think you’re getting a break and you’re not.”
“As impressive as anything for Casey today, he did it without his slider; he did it with two pitches,” said Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle “Maintained composure, rhythm and pace on the mound, got down a bunt, picked a runner off, just the poise was really strong out there today.”
There was still hope late with the Brewers only down 4-2 heading into the top of the ninth. That hope would soon fade. After Khris Davis dropped a routine fly ball to left with one out, the door was wide open for the Pirates who tallied six in the ninth to put the game away for good.
“I think the runner was going and I kind of peeked up and was trying to get ahead of the play before it actually developed,” Davis said. “That was a lack of concentration on my part. That inning’s a big inning. It’s all my fault. No one felt worse than me on that.”
Now the Brewers head to St. Louis to begin a three game series with the Cardinals and then to Pittsburgh to battle the Pirates in a weekend series to close out a six game road trip.