The Brewers went into the Steel City this weekend one game under .500, and left 2 under. Yes, I know along with everyone else in the free world that this Brewer team is in a rebuild mode and not suppose to tear up MLB this season. I am also on record as saying that they aren’t going to be “that” bad, and they won’t lose 100+ games… but, this past 3 game series in Pittsburgh makes me wonder if maybe .500 is gone for the season.
Friday night things looked positive, the Crew put up 8 runs on 11 hits, fueled by Ryan Braun having a 3 for 5 night which included 2 home runs and 4 rbi. On the mound, Jimmy Nelson was superb once again, throwing 7 shut out innings. The Brewers looked good in extending the Pirates losing streak to 4 games in their 8 – 4 victory.
Then came Saturday and the wheels fell off as the Brewers fell to Pittsburgh 5 – 0. Pirate’s starter Jon Niese along with two relievers managed to hold the Brewers to just 6 runners on the night, on 3 measly hits. Last year’s N.L. MVP Andrew McCutchen left his mark hitting his first home run of 2016.
On Sunday the Pirates donned their throwback jerseys from the late 70’s, and they just didn’t look the part of Willie Stargell and “The Family,” they played like them too! The bottom of the third must’ve seemed like an eternity for Brewer fans as the Pirates racked up 10 hits in the frame, scoring five runs, and increased their lead to 6 – 0. In the bottom of the 5th McCutchen hit his second round tripper in of the weekend, and the Pirates scored a season high (so far), 9 runs in their downing of the Crew 9-3. Bucs starter Juan Nicasio is now 3- 0 in his career vs Milwaukee.
On a side note Andrew McCutchen’s homer on Sunday gives him 25 against the Crew in his career, which ties Cincinnati as the two teams he has the most home runs against (food for thought for future games vs #22).
I know it was only two games and the Pirates have been a better team as of late making the playoffs in the last 3 years, but, it’s just the way the Brewers looked on the field… kinda listless. It may be in part due to their manager, watch manager Craig Counsell during post game press conferences, win or lose it doesn’t seem like he wants to be there. It’s like he would rather be in the front office, but accepted the manager position just to buy time. His demeanor is reminiscent of Ken Macha, and we all know what those two years were like (157-167…Zzzzzz).
There is A LOT of baseball that still needs to be played and I’m not going to say “I hope I’m wrong” about the not seeing .500 again this season, because, really what person HOPES they are wrong? Let’s just say I won’t be mad if I am wrong, because, being the Brewer fan that I am, I want them to succeed.
The Brewers have the newly awoken Twins, the second place Phillies, the WHITE HOT Cubs, and the Giancarlo Stanton led Marlins to finish off the month … watch out!
(photos courtesy of: SFGate, brewcrewball, davedicello, sfchronicle, piratetwitter, usatoday)