Win: Marco Estrada (3-1)
Loss: Gerrit Cole (3-3)
Save: Francisco Rodriguez (16)
HR: Neil Walker (8)
The lengths the Pirates will go to to lose to the Brewers is pretty amusing. That has to be it, right? Pittsburgh is clearly trying to let Milwaukee win? There's some kind of under-the-table deal maybe? A unification of two teams who couldn't win for most of the 90s and early 2000s?
Because that's what it looks like. That's how good the Brewers have been against Pittsburgh or, alternatively, how bad the Pirates have been against Milwaukee. This year, the Brewers have won seven of eight against Pittsburgh. That just continues a long tradition of Milwaukee's dominance over the Pirates in recent years.
This one-sidedness is especially evident when playing in Miller Park, as they are in the current series. Over the past ten years, the Brewers are 64-23 against Pittsburgh while playing at home.
Anyway, the Brewers won today. Marco Estrada was not great, but his final line sure looks alright: 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 K, 2 BB, 6 Hits. Doesn't look so bad, right? But the Pirates kept getting on early and just could not take advantage. It's partly their incompetence and it's partly Estrada's grit, but overall it wasn't as bad night for the Brewers' starter as it could have been.
The offense, meanwhile, managed 12 hits, seven of them against Gerrit Cole over 5.2 innings. Cole also walked three batters en route to allowing three earned runs. He was given the lead early on a Neil Walker homer in the first inning, but the Brewers were able to put a two-spot on the board in the third to take the lead when Jonathan Lucroy singled in a couple runs.
The Brewers would not lose that lead: They got an insurance run in the sixth when Rickie Weeks singled home Jean Segura, then two more in the seventh. The Pirates managed to earn one more in the eighth off of Will Smith, but it didn't matter.
Five Brewers -- Elian Herrera, Scooter Gennett, Khris Davis, Jean Segura and Jonathan Lucroy -- all picked up two hits. Davis and Herrera were both 2-2 after coming in for Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun, respectively. The latter two both left the game early, Gomez with back spasms and Braun, as far as I can tell, for unknown reasons.
It can be reasoned that, fresh off the DL, he may have re-injured his oblique, but Ron Roenicke said before the game that Braun might not go a full nine innings. The Brewers may just be being cautious. Meanwhile, Gomez will likely be day-to-day. It would be unsurprising to hear his suspension announced tomorrow, and with him having back issues this may be the best possible time for it.
Of course, if both Braun and Gomez miss tomorrow's game, the lineup is, uh....not good. It would have to be something like the following against a left hander:
C: Jonathan Lucroy
1B: Mark Reynolds
2B: Rickie Weeks
3B: Jeff Bianchi
SS: Jean Segura
LF: Khris Davis
CF: Logan Schafer
RF: Elian Herrera
.....at least they're playing the Pirates!
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