The Brewers have found success during their latest stretch of winning in an area they have struggled in: getting hits with runners in scoring position. The load has been taken off the shoulders of the pitching staff, with the Brewers consistently scoring five-plus runs. However, there has always been a significant discrepancy between what a win looks like and what a loss looks like. In wins, the Brewers are clicking on all cylinders. However, when they lose, they almost look like a shell of their winning selves.
With Corbin Burnes on the mound, it usually doesn’t require much offense to propel the Brewers to a win. On this night in Pittsburgh, Burnes was not as sharp as he usually is. He was having trouble keeping the ball in the park, as Jack Suwinski went deep in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Brewers lead, which they got thanks to a pair of sacrifice flies in the second inning, was erased as the two-run homer evened the score at 2-2.
The Brewers’ offense was able to tally hits early on, but they couldn't translate those into runs. They had four hits through four innings, but none of those translated into additional runs. They created a threat in the fourth, but with Victor Caratini 90 feet away, Christian Yelich hit into an inning-ending double play. The Pirates offense was attacking again in the fifth. Ke’Bryan Hayes gave the Pirates the lead with a solo home run with two outs. Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen then hit back-to-back doubles to extend the Pirates lead to 4-2.
The Brewers’ bats then became ice cold. In the few opportunities that they created, they immediately eliminated their threats. In the sixth, Mark Cahna got on with a single, but then Victor Caratini ended the inning with a double play. In the seventh, they got two men on with a walk from Yelich and a single from William Contreras. Carlos Santana then struck out to end the inning despite being ahead 3-0 in the count, keeping the score at 4-2.
The Brewers bullpen kept the Brewers within striking distance, but only tallying two hits across the final five innings wouldn’t be enough for them to pull even against the Pirates, and they would go on to lose by the score of 4-2. With the Cubs winning against the Giants earlier in the day, the Brewers lead in the NL Central is now down to 2 1/2 games. They return to action in game two against Pittsburgh Tuesday night.