On another quiet night for the Pirates offense, Monday night’s series opener between the Pirates and Brewers began as a pitching duel. The game was scoreless until one out in the top of the fourth inning, when Ryan Braun hit a 1-0 change up out to left center field off Pirates starter Jameson Taillon. As the season winds down for Taillon in an injury-shortened campaign, he put together strong outing for the first five innings. It was in the sixth inning where he lost his effectiveness, and he was pulled without recording an out, allowing three straight hits to start the inning. With two runs on the board for the Brewers, Pirates reliever A.J. Schugel would keep the score right there by finishing out the sixth inning and stranding two runners for the Pirates starting pitcher. This left Jameson Taillon with a final line of five innings pitched, six hits allowed, two runs with both earned, one walk and four strikeouts on the night. Taillon threw 54 of his 92 pitches for strikes in a relatively efficient night, but during two stretches in the outing he lost the effectiveness needed to pitch deep into the ball game for his team. The score would remain at 2-0 Milwaukee until the top of the eighth inning, when relief pitcher George Kontos allowed an RBI single to Brewers cleanup hitter Travis Shaw. This would be all the scoring for the night, even though one Pirate player put together a strong offensive effort.
On the offensive side of things, the Pirates registered eight hits on the night, but only one of them went for extra bases. Andrew McCutchen put together a strong offensive night out of the third spot in the Pirates lineup, but a combined one for eight out of the hitter’s ahead of him, gave him no RBI opportunities on the night. McCutchen went three for four with three singles on the night, but did not steal a base even though it was a tight ball game throughout. Scattered hits throughout the rest of the lineup prevented the Pirates from putting together any serious rallies, as two out RBI opportunities went for nothing two different times in the ball game. Brewers starter Brent Suter did not walk a a batter in his five innings of work, so despite allowing five hits, his four strikeouts helped him keep the Pirates scoreless. The Brewers bullpen was spectacular the rest of the way, putting together four scoreless innings with no walks, only three hits allowed and seven strikeouts to close out the win for their team.
With the loss, the Pirates dropped to a new season low, 15 games below .500 at 68-83. The win improved the Brewers to 80-70 as they continue their pursuit of either the NL Central division crown or a wildcard playoff berth. Tune in tomorrow night as Trevor Williams takes the mound looking for his seventh win of the season, as he takes on the Brewers and their Ace, Chase Anderson.