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PIT 4; MIL 2: Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for Milwaukee

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Brewers lose. Fall to 4.5 games back of the Pirates. On the plus side, the bar closest to my house has Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA on tap.

Dilip Vishwanat

Winning Pitcher: John Holdzkom

Losing Pitcher: Jonathan Broxton

SV: Mark Melancon

HR: Rickie Weeks (7), Russell Martin (11)

Win Expectancy Chart

Boxscore

It was Game 1 of the absolute biggest series of the season for the Milwaukee Brewers. Nothing short of excellence would do but short is what they came up. On this night the Brewers took us back to a time when Yovani Gallardo had the promise of an ace and Rickie Weeks had prodigious power. Unfortunately it just wasn't enough.

The Brewers gave Gallardo an early lead. Ryan Braun tried turning a single into a double and thanks to a miscue at second base he did. A wild pitch sent him to third and a Jonathan Lucroy single brought him home. Then later in the fifth inning Rickie Weeks murderlized a ball straight to deep center and gone giving the Crew a 2-0 lead.

Yovani Gallardo has interestingly developed into a strong pitch to contact, ground ball pitcher. But it didn't used to be that way. At one point in time we were all waiting for Gallardo to take that final step forward into a strike throwing ace. At least on this night that's exactly what he was.

Gallardo threw 7 shut out innings. He allowed just 5 hits (somewhat thanks to some shoddy defense) and 1 intentional walk. The truly impressive aspect of his night was his season high 11 strike outs. Yes, eleven. It was the most strike outs he'd thrown since September 23rd, 2011 against the Florida (not Miami) Marlins.

Unfortunately Jonathan Broxton couldn't hold off the Pirates. After letting two get on he gave up a 3-run home run to Russell Martin. After allowing another single, Broxton was pulled for Jeremy Jeffress. He allowed a couple of hits and another run. The Pirates would take a 4-2 lead into the top of the ninth.

The Pirates sent their closer, Mark Melcancon, out for the ninth. Three batters later the Brewers found themselves 4.5 games back of the Pirates for the 2nd Wild Card.