Was it unrealistic of me to expect to never have to cover a loss this year? I promise that won't be the last time I have unrealistic expectations.
Jon Niese baffled the Brewers for 7 innings, allowing no runs, three hits, and three walks, while striking out three. A two out double in the third by Domingo Santana gave early hope for another two-out hit producing a run, but a Jonathon Villar groundout ended the inning.
The Pirates scored three in the fourth off starter Taylor Jungmann with the key hit being a triple by Josh Harrison that probably should have been caught by Santana. A solo homer from Andrew McCutchen in the 4th moved it to 4-0. Jungmann finished his night with 4 runs (all earned) and 6 hits allowed in 6 innings of work. His control was better than in his last start, only walking one with 6 k's.
The Brewers walked themselves into a 2 on, one out opportunity in the 8th off of Tony Watson, but Ryan Braun tried to pull an outside fastball from the lefty and bounced into a 6-4-3 double play.
Sam Freeman drew mop-up duty in the bottom of the eighth, and showed as much control as me with a case of Killians in the fridge. Consecutive walks after one out were followed by an RBI single from Harrison, and a the third walk of the inning loaded the bases. Freeman shut the door after that, and again lowered his ERA...that's two straight times!
Mark Melancon finished things off with a 1-2-3 9th in a non-save situation. striking out the side.
The Brewers (5-6) missed another opportunity to get above .500 and fall a half game behind the Pirates (6-6).
The Bucs and Brewers will decide the series tomorrow afternoon, with Juan Nicasio for Pittsburgh facing Zach Davies in his first start of the 2016 campaign for Milwaukee.