The nightmare continues for the Brewers. Just last week, the Brewers had a four-game lead over the Cardinals for first in the division. Their bats were lighting up and their pitching was getting the job done. Fast forward to today and their new-look bullpen is struggling to get the job done. On a sunny afternoon in Pittsburgh, the Brewers found another way to lose a ballgame, this time on a wild pitch from new addition Matt Bush, giving the Pirates a 5-4 win in 10 innings.
The Pirates were the first ones to strike in the second. After allowing singles to Greg Allen and Jason Delay, Brandon Woodruff allowed Allen to advance to third on a wild pitch to Tucupita Marcano. Later in the Marcano at bat, Caratini had ball four pop out of his glove and roll toward the Brewers dugout. The misplay allowed for Allen to scamper home, giving the Pirates the first lead of the game at 1-0. The Brewers would even the score in a hurry. Victor Caratini avenged his misplay from the previous inning with a home run to right. The 386-foot shot would make it a 1-1 game.
In the fifth, Hunter Renfroe led off the inning with a double to center field. Victor Caratini would move him over on a groundout to first and Mike Brosseau would bring him home on a home run that just cleared the wall in right, giving the Brewers the lead 3-1. They were unable to expand on that lead while Woodruff was pitching. With a low pitch count, Woodruff was giving up base hits to the Pirates without allowing them to score. He wasn’t able to produce a lot of swings and misses, just five, but he did his job protecting the lead.
Similar to the previous games in this series, the Brewers found trouble in the later innings. In the seventh and with Woodruff still on the mound, the Pirates cut the lead to 3-2 on a walk to Allen and a pair of singles from Delay and Marcano. Woodruff was pulled after the Marcano RBI, his final line being 6 1⁄3 innings, eight hits, two earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts.
Brad Boxberger was brought in to control the damage with men on first and second. He got last night’s hero Bryan Reynolds to fly out to left but couldn’t do the same with Ben Gamel. The former Brewer found a gap in the infield and was able to drive in Delay on a single to right, tying the game at 3-3.
The bottom of the seventh also saw some anger spill over from the Brewers dugout. On a low ball three to Allen, Christian Yelich, who had just struck out looking at a low strike three during the top of the inning, voiced his displeasure to umpire Jerry Meals. Meals did not appreciate the comments Yelich was making from the dugout and promptly tossed him from the game. Craig Counsell, seemingly not pleased that his hottest hitter had been ejected from the game, went out to have a conversation with Meals before he got the boot. Both Counsell and Yelich got their money’s worth before heading to the clubhouse for the remainder of the game.
The score would remain tied into the ninth. Kolten Wong lead off the inning with a double, and Hunter Renfroe moved him over to third on a sacrifice bunt, his first sac bunt in 10 years. Following a Caratini intentional walk and Brosseau hit by pitch, it looked as though the Brewers would get past their woes in the first two games and pull out a clutch win. Pitch-hitting for Jonathan Davis, Tyrone Taylor hit a hard grounder down the third base line that would have been enough to bring home at least two runs if it wasn’t for a great diving stop from Ke’Bryan Hayes, leading to a double play that would end the inning.
In the 10th, the Brewers managed to take the lead without getting a hit. With Taylor on second and two outs, Rowdy Tellez was intentionally walked to get to Andrew McCutchen. Andrew McCutchen then walked on four pitches, loading the bases for Kolten Wong. Wong would get hit in the quad on a 3-2 pitch, driving in Taylor the hard way and giving the Brewers a 4-3 lead.
The bottom of the 10th saw Bryan Reynolds hit a soft flyball down the right field line, bouncing out of play for an RBI ground-rule double, tying the game at 4-4. An intentional walk to Gamel, a flyout from Hayes, and another intentional walk to Cruz loaded the bases for Michael Chavis. Chavis didn’t have to do anything at the plate, as Matt Bush spiked a 0-2 pitch past Caratini, allowing Reynolds to score and giving the Pirates a 5-4 victory on a walk-off wild pitch.
The loss gives the Pirates a sweep over the Brewers, who have now lost four in a row. The Brewers will now head back to Milwaukee barely clinging to their lead in the NL Central. They start a three-game series against the Reds on Friday, the first pitch at 7:10 pm CT.