Missed Opportunities Hurt Brewers in 9-8 Loss to Pirates

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 26: Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers kneels in disbelief after he was out at second base during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on September 26, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)


WP: Daniel McCutchen (5-3)
LP: Takashi Saito (4-2)
SV: Joel Hanrahan (40)

HR:  Alex Presley (4)

MVP: Carlos Gomez (+.248)
LVP: Shaun Marcum (-.425)

Box Score
Win Expectancy Graph

If there was ever a game to call a marathon, this was it.

It was a back and forth game all night.  The scoring started up right on the second pitch when Alex Presley hit a home run off of Shaun Marcum.  The Brewers answered back in their half of the first inning with an RBI double by Mark Kotsay, who was starting in place of Ryan Braun for the night.

Pittsburgh came right back in the second inning with an RBI single by Pedro Alvarez, RBI groundout by Chase D'Arnaud, and RBI single by Alex Presley to make it 4-1.  The Brewers came back in the fourth inning with RBI doubles from Yuniesky Betancourt and Corey Hart, closing the gap to 4-3. 

In the next inning, Pedro Alvarez hit an RBI double to score two more runs, pushing the score to 6-3 and ending Shaun Marcum's night.  Frankie De La Cruz came in and promptly allowed another run to score, making it 7-3.  This made Marcum's final line for the day 4.2 IP, 7 runs (all earned), 10 hits, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts.

The Brewers responded again in the fifth inning with another RBI double by Yuniesky Betancourt to make it 7-5.  That would be the last inning for Charlie Morton, who finished the night with 5 IP, giving up 8 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts.

Once again, Pittsburgh responded in the next inning with an RBI single by Neil Walker.  Heading to the bottom of the sixth inning, Jared Hughes came in and got two quick outs before the Brewers began a rally with two outs out.  Nyjer Morgan started the rally with a single, and Mark Kotsay followed it with a walk.  Tony Watson came in to face Prince Fielder, and he responded with an RBI single, scoring Morgan to make it 8-6.  Ryan Braun was called in to pinch hit, and the Pirates responded by switching to Chris Leroux.  Braun ended up hitting an RBI double that was inches away from being a home run, but did score Kotsay and it went to 8-7.  Jerry Hairston, Jr. followed it up with a walk to load the bases, and then Yuniesky Betancourt tied the game at 8 with an RBI walk.  Daniel McCutchen came as the fourth pitcher in the inning, and Jonathan Lucroy hit a ball sharply that would have given the Brewers the lead, had Chris D'Arnaud not made a great jump to grab the ball.

Takashi Saito came in to pitch the seventh inning, and gave up a run on a Michael McKenry walk and an Alex Presley RBI double, making the game 9-8.  The Brewers had their first quiet inning since the third with a 1-2-3 inning, and the Pirates followed that up with their own 1-2-3 inning, thrown by Marco Estrada.  In the Brewers half of the eight, Logan Schafer drew a walk from new reliever Jason Grilli to start the inning.  After a Fielder strikeout, Braun and Hairston were hit by pitches in back to back at-bats to load the bases.  However, Betancourt recorded the second out of the inning on a popup to the infield, and Lucroy grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.

Marco Estrada came back out for the ninth inning and worked around a single and stolen base to keep the game at 9-8.  Joel Hanrahan came in to close for the Pirates.  Craig Counsell led off the inning with a single, and Carlos Gomez came in as a pinch runner.  He took second base on a wild pitch and was almost thrown out when he thought about going to third.  Then, Gomez went to third base on another wild pitch by Hanrahan.  Corey Hart struck out after that for the first out.  Casey McGehee came in to pinch hit, and hit a ball on the ground right to the second baseman, who threw it home and got Gomez trying to score.  George Kottaras pinch hit next and hit a groundout to the second baseman to end the game.

In total, the game was four hours and and thirteen minutes long, the second longest nine-inning game in Brewers history.  The longest game in their history was four hours and twenty-two minutes, played on May 11, 2000 against the Cubs.  373 pitches were thrown in the game.  There were 17 runs, 25 hits, 13 walks, 4 players hit by pitches through the course of the game. 11 pitchers were used total, along with 26 position players.  In the end, it came down to wasted opportunities.  The Brewers left 13 runners on base, which included two innings ended with the bases loaded, and failing to score Gomez from third in the ninth inning with no outs.

The loss ended the Brewers 12-game winning streak over the Pirates at home.

The Diamondbacks lost as well tonight, falling to the Dodgers 4-2.  The Brewers can clinch home field advantage in the NLDS with a win tomorrow night and a Diamondbacks loss.

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