This one gave me a sort of uneasy feeling right from the start. Yovani Gallardo was mowing down the Pirates from the get go and AJ Burnett got himself into trouble in the first, second, and fifth innings, but managed to avoid any damage. Both Drew Sutton and Garrett Jones made clumsy-looking plays in the outfield, as if to foreshadow how much of a problem the Pirates’ lack of outfield depth was about to cause. The Pirates found themselves with a 1-0 lead after 5 1/2 thanks yet another Andrew McCutchen opposite field home run, but it didn’t feel safe.
In the sixth, Nyjer Morgan lead off with a single up the middle and Ryan Braun lace a single to right to Garrett Jones. As the play developed, it felt like Jones took forever to get to the ball and it was clear that Morgan was going to take the tying run to third base with no outs. For some reason, Jones uncorked an awful throw back towards third base that went nowhere near any base or cutoff man and it skipped to the fence. Morgan scored, Braun advanced to third. With the infield drawn in, Aramis Ramirez had no trouble poking a single up the middle to score Braun. He then stole second on AJ Burnett’s slow leg-kick and Rod Barajas’s inabilty to get a throw anywhere near second and he scored when Rickie Weeks hit an easy two-hop groundball to Pedro Alvarez that glanced off of Pedro’s leg for a run scoring “double.” Weeks scored on a Martin Maldonado double.
The Brewers didn’t score outside of that inning, but it didn’t matter. The Pirates struck out 17 times without drawing a walk and Andrew McCutchen collected three of the team’s five hits. It was a brutal performance all over the field today, with the exceptions of McCutchen and Burnett (who in no way deserved the four earned runs that got hung on him this afternoon). It was bad baseball remiscent of the early season Pirates. Let’s hope that getting out of Milwaukee brings this sort of thing to a stop.