Pirates Postgame Commentary: August 31 vs Brewers

By COMON Network Team

Final Score – Milwaukee Brewers (16-18) 6, Pittsburgh Pirates (10-22) 5

WP: Devin Williams (3-1) LP: Nik Turley (0-1) SV: Josh Hader (8)

Late-game heroics won the series Monday for the Brewers, as Milwaukee won for the third time in the wrap-around set with the Pirates, winning by a final of 6-5.

Eric Sogard and the Brewers started the scoring on an RBI single by Sogard on which an error was made by Kevin Newman, allowing a second run to score on the play. Erik Gonzalez promptly tied the game in the third with a birthday homer, a two-run shot that brought in Cole Tucker. Ben Gamel singled home Christian Yelich in the third before Luis Urias grounded into a fielder’s choice. Another Newman error on the play allowed the Brewers’ lead to advance to 4-2. Adam Frazier singled home a run in the fifth. In the home half, Keston Hiura homered.

The scoring continued in the sixth inning, Jose Osuna tied the game at 5 apiece with a two-run, two-out single to left center. It would cease until the bottom of the eighth when, with two strikes and two outs, Orlando Arcia singled home Ben Gamel to give the Brew Crew the 6-5 lead they would not surrender.

Ke’Bryan Hayes will reportedly be promoted to make his debut as a homestand begins tomorrow against the Chicago Cubs at 7:05 p.m. at PNC Park. This homestand will include three against the Cubs, four with the Reds and two with the White Sox. The Reds’ series features a doubleheader, during which the Reds will serve as the home team in one game, a make up from the games that were postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test the last time the two teams locked horns.

COMON Network Team Commentary

KYLE DAWSON

  • My first couple of notes will not be about the game tonight. First off, let me say I’m not surprised the Pirates didn’t do anything at the deadline today. Number one, I don’t think any player had much value to where a team would consider moving significant pieces. I also believe that the Pirates would’ve taken anything for a guy like Derek Holland or Keone Kela. I think, especially about Kela, the injury concerns and the fact that he’s only playing catch right now scared teams off. I think Joe Musgrove being on the shelf hurt his value. I also would rather, as they “build,” in Ben Cherington’s words, not just trade for the sake of making trades. I don’t want the Pirates to have traded say Chad Kuhl today and received a poor return. Basically, what I’m saying with that is I don’t want the trade to be made wrong but just to have gotten something. That’s not a good way to build.
  • You’ve seen me, Ryan and a lot of other people call for the promotion of No. 2-prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes. It appears we’ll get that wish. Jason Mackey, beat writer for the Post-Gazette, among others, reported today that he’s hearing we will see Hayes tomorrow in Chicago. If so, that is great news. I talked a few weeks back about how I’m really not looking at record and results anymore. I want to see what they have, and that includes seeing what they have, though it will probably be in about 20-22 games by the time all is said and done, in Hayes. I’m excited to see him at the big-league level. He’s a guy that has never been doubted defensively, but folks ask about the bat’s consistency and ability. Let’s see, and let’s also keep in mind, good or bad, what the sample size will be.
  • Gregory Polanco is 1-for his last 25 at bats. I’m not even going to expound on that.
  • In the roller coaster that is most baseball games, it can be so crucial and momentum can either swing one way or stay where it is with a shut-down frame. That’s a pitcher getting a zero after their team scores. Milwaukee’s staff was 1-for-4 in those chances tonight, while the Pirates were 2-for-3. So it’s not as bad as I thought it was at first. But what made me think about it tonight was the early and often traffic early in innings in Trevor Williams’ starts. From innings two through four, it would be first and second in each frame with nobody out. That’s not all to Williams’ fault and his team did a nice job of staying in it. Heck, he was pretty solid in minimizing damage at times.
  • Adam Frazier isn’t an outfielder. Man that was bad in the eighth. He never had a shot at the runner coming home despite getting the ball as Gamel was maybe a step or two around third. It took forever to get the ball out of the glove and make a throw. Has Bryan Reynolds’ kid been born yet?
  • Devin Williams is nasty. Sheesh.

Player of the Game – Ben Gamel (MIL)

JOE SMELTZER

  • The Pirates made no moves at this year’s trade deadline, but if Erik Gonzalez continues to perform well, maybe he can be a piece to deal in 2021. Assuming the team still stinks then. 
  • I don’t think the Pirates’ starting rotation is terrible, especially not relative to the rest of the team. The fact that Trevor Williams is the team’s best pitcher, however, is somewhat disheartening. Williams is a great personality and certainly has his shining moments on the mound, but he should not be a No. 1 in a big league rotation. The last two starts have showed that.  
  • I’m excited to see what Ke’Bryan Hayes can do, and especially excited to not have to see as much of JT Riddle. With that said, I don’t see Hayes ever amounting to more than a solid major league player. There’s nothing wrong with solid major league players, and God knows the Pirates don’t have enough of them. But for an organization’s top hitting top prospect, Hayes’ ceiling is somewhat low.  

Player of the Game – Ben Game (MIL)

RYAN SIMPSON

  • Annnnnd we are back to the team we saw in the first 20 games of the season. Poor pitching from Trevor Williams tonight who was the one constant on the mound. Tonight’s outing tied his August 20 start versus the Indians for the shortest of the year. You cannot be a successful team when your starter goes four innings.
  • On the other side, the bullpen showed out in the middle of the game. Sam Howard, Taylor Bashlor and Nick Turley did their part and kept the Pirates in the game. Howard is starting to catch my eye as a lefty version of MLB journeyman Tyler Clippard; Howard is a finesse pitcher which is a nice change of pace for this era’s baseball. Turley is also a madman and since I gave Howard a comp, let’s call Turley this team’s Jared Hughes. Dude is just nutty on the mound. Stratton came in to the game in a tough situation and got beat. Simple. As Joe Block mentioned on the broadcast, the run in the eighth was the first inherited runner Stratton has allowed to score this year. You will get beat eventually.
  • Josh Hader found whatever he lost during his last appearance, striking out Tucker on a filthy breaking ball, making Gonzalez look silly on a back-foot slide-piece and finally getting Frazier to look at a breaking ball at the top of the zone.
  • The only good news is the next time we see the Pirates take the field, top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes will be in uniform. I am so excited to see this kid play after years of hype.

Player of the Game – Ben Gamel (MIL)

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