After falling in an early hole and blowing a late lead, the Pittsburgh Pirates walked off the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night
Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates rode a five-run 6th inning to a come from behind victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. This victory snapped their seven-game losing streak, and made them 5-3 in their last eight games against the Brewers.
Pittsburgh’s recent success against the Brewers would continue on Wednesday night. In a wild back and forth affair, the Pirates defeated the Brewers 8-7. Pittsburgh has now won six of their last nine games against Milwaukee, and improved to 42-62 overall on the season.
Tyler Beede starts bullpen game and struggles
Tyler Beede, who has been pitching out of the bullpen, made the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This was his first start with the Pirates and first MLB start since September 2019 with the San Francisco Giants.
While Beede had pitched to a 3.12 ERA as a reliever, there were a lot of red flags to the way he was pitching. Entering play on Wednesday, Beede’s walk rate on the season was nearly 10%, his strikeout rate was in the bottom 4% of baseball, his whiff rate was in the bottom 11% and his chase rate was in the bottom 14%, meaning he has struggled to generate swings-and-misses. His opposing hard hit rate of 41.8% is more than 6% higher than league average.
All of these problems plagued Beede on Wednesday night as he allowed 4 runs on five hits, two walks and a strikeout in 1.1 innings pitched. Beede routinely missed spots, and five of the balls put in play against him left Brewer bats at 93 MPH or greater. Beede now owns a 3.89 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 10.1% walk rate and just a 13.3% strikeout rate this season.
Maybe the Pittsburgh Pirates will realize the importance of having five starting pitchers on their roster. Hell, maybe just maybe they’ll re-call that Contreras guy who had been the team’s best starting pitcher this season, to go with being a top 100 prospect, before he was optioned to Triple-A so that they could watch his inning workload for the season… while he pitches at Triple-A.
Pirate offense strikes in the 3rd inning
Entering the bottom of the 3rd inning the Pirates found themselves trialing 4-0. After Tucupita Marcano singled to start the inning the Pirates made two outs and things looked bleak. This is when Freddy Peralta, who was returning from the injured list and making just his 9th start of the season, ran into some control issues.
Peralta issued back-to-back tow-out walks to Bryan Reynolds and Ben Gamel to load the bases. These walks were followed by a two-run single to right field by Ke’Bryan Hayes, cutting the Brewer lead to 4-2.
Tucupita Marcano impresses in return to the majors
Prior to the start of Wednesday’s game the Pittsburgh Pirates re-called Tucupita Marcano from Triple-A. While he did have some struggles, he also impressed and turned heads in his first MLB stint this season. Wednesday night, he impressed in his return to the majors.
In his first at-bat Marcano beat out a ground ball to shortstop for a hit. His second at-bat saw him turn the wheels on again to leg out a triple, his 1st of the season at the major league level. This hit also knocked Peralta out of the game. In his third at-bat Marcano lined a single to center field to tie the game at 4 in the 6th inning. He also made a fine running catch in left field.
Throughout the rest of the season Marcano needs to play on a regular basis. He can play third base, shortstop, second base, and the corner outfield position. This positional flexibility, plus the designated hitter spot, should make it easy to get Marcano’s bat in the lineup. The Pirates need to see what Marcano can do with an extended look these final two months of the season.
Tyler Heineman exits the game
With Marcano on third base and two outs in the 4th inning Pirate catcher Tyler Heineman hit a ground ball to second base. To Heineman’s credit he busted it down the line trying to beat it out. However, he would come up limping afterward. This led to Heineman exiting the game and Jason Delay taking over behind the dish.
Pirates take first lead with 7th inning rally
Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds singled to start the 7th inning. While Newman was thrown out trying to score on a Ben Gamel ground out, he stayed in the rundown long enough to allow Reynolds and Gamel to both get into scoring position.
Hayes then single to score Reynolds. This gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 5-4 lead, their first lead of the night, and Hayes three RBI. However, Hayes was thrown out retreating to first base after attempting to move up on the thrown.
The base running miscue of Hayes would hurt, thankfully. Oneil Cruz would make sure of it. Cruz launched a Brent Suter pitch 434 feet to center field. The ball left Cruz’s bat at 113.9 MPH, and bounced off the roof of the center field landing leading to the ball leaving the stadium and landing in the Allegheny River.
This was part of a two-hit night for Cruz with both of his hits coming off of left-handed pitchers. Cruz’s missile was his 8th home run of the season with the Pirates, giving him a .451 slugging percentage and .233 isolated slugging (ISO). He’s going to be a special one.
Yerry De Los Santos melts down with two outs in the 8th
After Beede exited the game the bullpen started to do excellent work for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dillon Peters, Chase De Jong, and Duane Underwood Jr. combined to allow three hits, walk two batters and strikeout four in 5.2 scoreless innings pitched.
Yerry De Los Santos was tasked with protecting a three-run lead in the 8th inning. It looked as if De Los Santos would do just that after he quickly got the first two outs of the inning. Well, this is where things started to go sideways.
The next five Brewer batters all reached against De Los Santos. The last batter he faced was Rowdy Tellez who hit a game-tying single off of De Los Santos. While Tellez’s ball is one that Michael Chavis likely should have fielded at first base, it was also poor pitch selection by De Los Santos. De Los Santos threw a breaking ball to Tellez, but right as he delivered the pitch Tellez asked for time and it was granted. Tellez had seen the breaking ball, yet De Los Santos went back to it again and it burnt him. Wil Crowe would relieve De Los Santos and get the last out of the 8th inning.
Bryan Reynolds walks it off
Bryan Reynolds had been in a funk. An injured list stint was a contributing factor, but he had not collected a base hit in over a month entering play on Wednesday. Wednesday night, Reynolds got back on track in a big way.
After Crowe pitched a scoreless top of the 9th inning, Reynolds led off the bottom half of the inning. Reynolds got ahead in the count 2-0 against Devin Williams. He then launched a 2-0 fastball from Williams deep into the Pittsburgh night for his first career walk-off home run.
Reynolds finished the game 3-for-4 with a walk and his 16th home run of the season. Before the game Reynolds took extra batting practice and it certainly seemed to pay off. Hopefully, this outing will be the start of Reynolds getting back on track.
Zach Thompson (5.09 ERA, 5.22 FIP) will look to bounce back from back-to-back poor starts when he toes the rubber for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon. Brandon Woodruff (3.55 ERA, 2.73 FIP) will start for Milwaukee. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 12:35 PM ET as the Pirates will be looking for the series sweep.