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Brewers 4, Pirates 1: A Great Start and a Great Inning

Nyjer Morgan, not looking where he's going.
Nyjer Morgan, not looking where he's going.

Win: Yovani Gallardo (8-6)
Loss: A.J. Burnett (10-3)
Save: John Axford (16)

HR: Andrew McCutchen (21)

MVP: Yovani Gallardo (.222 WPA pitching)
LVP: Yovani Gallardo (-.118 WPA batting)

Fangraphs Win Expectancy Graph

The Pirates had the Brewers on the ropes for five innings. A.J. Burnett looked fantastic on the mount for Pittsburgh, allowing just four hits while striking out five hitters. The Brewers came close to scoring on him in the early innings, but Burnett kept them from crossing home.

The Pirates got one run in the fourth inning thanks to an Andrew McCutchen home run. For a little while, that seemed like all Pittsburgh might need to beat Milwaukee.

But Yovani Gallardo was pitching a great game himself, going seven four-hit innings and striking out fourteen batters (more on that later). Gallardo kept Milwaukee in the game so that even a modicum of offense would help them eke out a win.

That offense came in the sixth inning, thanks in part to some shoddy defense. Nyjer Morgan led off the inning with a single and would come around to score on a Ryan Braun single and Garrett Jones throwing error. Braun moved to third on the play. Aramis Ramirez then singled in Braun for the first Brewers lead of the night. Ramirez, who had 19 career stolen bases, then took second as Corey Hart struck out. A Pedro Alvarez error on a Rickie Weeks grounder allowed Ramirez to score and Weeks to move to second. He would be brought in by a Martin Maldonado double to give the Brewers their fourth run of the inning and a 4-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Maldonado was the offensive MVP for the Brewers, going 3-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Weeks was the only other Brewer to reach base multiple times, with a double and a walk.

The Brewers will move on to a home series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Michael Fiers and Lance Lynn face off tomorrow, which should be a lot of fun. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10.