Pirates Postgame Commentary: July 29

Final Score – Milwaukee Brewers (3-3) 3, Pittsburgh Pirates (2-4) 0

WP: Brandon Woodruff (1-1) – 6.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 10 K – 92 pitches, 61 strikes

LP: Joe Musgrove (0-2) – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 8 K – 91 pitches, 59 strikes

SV: Josh Hader (1) – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K – 12 pitches, 9 strikes

The Pirates’ bats never showed up to PNC Park Wednesday night. That’s thanks in large part to Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff, who picked up his first win of the young 2020 campaign. He tossed 6.1 innings of one-hit ball in the Brewers’ triumph as Milwaukee took the series, winning the rubber game 3-0.

Ben Gamel started the scoring with a two-run blast to right off Pirates’ right hander Joe Musgrove in the third inning. All the while, Woodruff diced up the Pirates’ lineup, as he protected the third-inning lead by putting up zeroes in each of the first six innings he worked. Woodruff ended up exiting after 6.1 innings after his 10th punchout, as he got Josh Bell for the third time on the evening on strikes.

Keston Hiura hit a wall scraper to right center to push the Brewers lead to 3-0 in the sixth before Musgrove exited a short while later. Musgrove finished allowing three runs on four hits over 5.2 innings.

Robbie Erlin didn’t look bad from the pen in the loss, as he worked two scoreless and fanned three. He allowed two hits and walked one.

David Phelps, Devin Williams and Josh Hader finished the job for the Brewers. The teams combined to strikeout 28 times. That’s the most strikeouts in a game pitting the Pirates and any opponent combined in the modern era.

The Bucs have Thursday off before starting a series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs Friday at 8:15 p.m. ET.

COMON Network Team Commentary

Joe Smeltzer

  • Christian Yelich didn’t get a single hit in the series, and the Pirates lost two of three games at home. Do you see the problem here? Sure, Milwaukee is superior to the Bucs in pretty much every facet, but not capitalizing on the Brewers’ biggest gun being a literal non factor is aggravating. It’s not often a player that good plays that poorly, so when you have that advantage, it’s best to capitalize.
  • The Pirates starting pitching has been quietly solid this season, and Joe Musgrove, at the moment, is the Pirates No. 1 starter. It looks like Musgrove’s work with new pitching coach Oscar Marin has payed off. Here’s hoping it continues.
  • Keston Hirua owns the Pirates. It’s true. And I don’t like it too much. The Brewers’ second baseman already has two home runs in PNC Park in 2020, added to the five he hit there last season. Somebody’s gotta put a stop to this.

Player of the Game – Brandon Woodruff (MIL)

Kyle Dawson

  • Brandon Woodruff was excellent. Man did he dominate tonight. He was peppering the fastball in the mid-to-high 90s pretty much wherever he wanted to with a filthy-looking changeup in the high 80s. Then you mix in the breaking ball and it was game over. That’s one of those performances where you tip the cap and move on. Good for him.
  • Ryan wrote about Bryan Reynolds and the outfield assist last night and Reynolds went out there and did it again tonight. What a strike tonight to get the runner trying to score early that throw was. The hop was perfect for Stallings to handle and apply a tag. The guy played more than 1,000 innings out in the outfield last season and had four outfield assists. He’s got three now in six games. That’d ludicrous.
  • Three strikes and you’re out. The Buccos fanned 14 times tonight. They had one hit. You don’t win doing that. The one bit was an infield single and two balls left the infield all night. Embarrassing. Throw it away and move to Chicago.
  • Mackey’s tweet here sums a lot up for me so far with this offense too. I don’t know that anyone expected this lineup to be exceptional, but this isn’t good. Now, it’s six games so normally we would take those numbers with a grain of salt, but that’s 10% the season in 2020. Not good.

Player of the Game – Brandon Woodruff (MIL) – See above

Donny Chedrick

  • We were two pitches from a true duel. Brandon Woodruff dominated the Pirates lineup Wednesday night, going 6.1 innings of one hit baseball with 10 punch outs. Joe Musgrove delivered a solid outing and besides two pitches that got taken out of the park. 5.2 innings, giving up the three runs on four hits to go with eight strikeouts and three walks.
  • We talked about it last night, but the superstars continued to struggle: I know I brought up Christian Yelich’s struggles Tuesday night and he followed it up with an 0-5 night with three strikeouts. On the Pirates end, Josh Bell can’t seem to catch fire at the plate, either. The 2019 All Star watched his average go down to .174 after an 0-3, three strikeout performance Wednesday night while only having to worry about his offense.
  • The bullpen turned things around. One positive you can take from Wednesday night is the Pirates’ bullpen not allowing a run between the efforts of Dvoydas Neverauskas, Robbie Erlin and Richard Rodriguez. With this bullpen, you have to take positives when you can.

Player of the Game – Brandon Woodruff (MIL)

Jack Hillgrove

  • Not sure if we saw Brandon Woodruff or Nolan Ryan pitch against our Buccos tonight. The righty was firing on all cylinders for the Brew Crew.  
  • I am still wondering why Erik Gonzalez plays for the Pirates. Woodruff made him look silly in the bottom of the 6th, and since he’s joined the club, he is 1/29 with runners in scoring position. To quote Silvio Dante in The Sopranos, “I genuinely don’t think there’s any reason to keep him around.” I mean, guys, he swung at strike three and it hit him.
  • The number of guys that the Pirates have pulled out of there you-know-what to come out to pitch is astonishing to me. I mean, who the hell is Rob Erlin? 

Player of the Game – Brandon Woodruff (MIL) – See above

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