A couple of racing sausages took a tumble at the finish line during the middle of the sixth inning today, as the Italian put a few jabs into the back of a pride flag-toting Chorizo in what must be some sort of social commentary that is either too high- or too low-brow for me to understand. A sausage race incident during a Pirates game calls to mind Randall Simon, who 14 years ago became the first professional athlete suspended for mascot-related violence (probably, I didn’t look it up).
None of that really has anything to do with the game, but this one was over before the Brewers even stepped into the batter’s box, so I thought we’d talk about something else for a moment. Here’s the chart:
Everyone’s a hero in their own way: Orlando Arcia, +.122 WPA (2-for-3, BB, R)
In their own, not-that-heroic way: Zach Davies, -.382 WPA (5.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 H, 4 K, BB)
The Pirates tallied six in the opening frame, a lead that would prove insurmountable. It was bad and if you, like me, forgot that the game started at 6:40, then everything had already gone to h*ck before you even tuned in, so let’s just skip it.
Despite the massive early hole, the Brewers had myriad early chances to put runs on the board and crawl back into the game. Outside the contributions of offensive juggernaut Franklin, however, Milwaukee failed to capitalize on their scoring chances. The Brewers went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position through the first four innings, striking out with a runner on third and one out in three of them and stranding seven runners.
To his credit, Davies found a way to start getting outs after his disastrous first inning, getting through five with the only additional blemish a leadoff dinger from Andrew McCutchen in the third. It’s a bit like finding the bride and groom figurines unbroken after dumping the wedding cake on the floor, but fans can take whatever solace they can find in knowing that if you consider the first inning to just be a practice round, the Brewers would have taken this one.
It looked like the Milwaukee nine might have something brewing in the sixth when a Broxton double scored Arcia, who had reached on a dropped catch error by Jose Osuna that was reviewed and upheld. Broxton would immediately return that scoring opportunity with a massive TOOTBLAN, making the first out at third base in a foolhardy attempt to swipe the bag on a ball in the dirt.
Josh Hader, who is somehow behind Carlos God Dang Torres on the bullpen leverage chart, pitched two hitless innings in relief, striking out two and walking one. Why the Brewers would use two of Hader’s surely limited innings this season in mop up duty is a mystery. Losing by nine isn’t worse than losing by four, and the Brewers’ seemingly limitless supply of horrible relievers could have soaked up the second half of this one without sacrificing much in the way of win probability.
Speaking of the actual devil, Torres replaced Hader and recorded a pair of scoreless innings of his own as the bullpen recorded just it’s fourth scoreless game of the month (and yes, I am generously including Jimmy Nelson’s complete game in that measure). It seems like maybe the move if Craig Counsell wants more success out of his bullpen is to have the team be already losing by a lot of runs. We’ll have to see where he goes with that.
- Eric Thames had the kind of game where you skip reviewing tape to make adjustments and just go ahead and burn it, the video equipment used to record it, the building it was filmed in and anyone who was present to see it. Thames stranded eight (!!!!) runners, including six in scoring position, while wearing a golden sombrero on an 0-for-5 night.
- David Freeze, who plays in Pittsburgh but is originally from Hell, made 74 barehanded plays to throw out Brewers base runners by a half-step tonight, wiping out over two dozen potential runs for Milwaukee. He is a bully, he has always been a bully, and I hope he steps in a puddle and his socks get all wet and he doesn’t have any socks to change into so he just has to walk around in wet socks for like, a really long time.
- Lewis Brinson very nearly had his first major league RBI when he pounded one to the warning track with two outs in the fifth. Gregory Polanco ranged all the way back and caught the ball in full stride to take away an extra base hit. MLB won’t let us embed the video until tomorrow because it is actually bad to have fans watching cool highlights, but you can click over to the video here if you feel like getting kinda mad.
The Brewers will try once again to sink the Pirates, sending #2017BrewersNumberThreePitcher Junior Guerra to the mound to try to act as the stopper. He’ll be opposed by Trevor Williams, who is so anonymous that you didn’t even notice that the picture above isn’t him. It’s the third of a four game series, and kicks off at 7:10 pm from Miller Park.