The Brewers, bullies on the block as far as the Pirates have been concerned for the last five seasons, came out and smacked the Bucs in the chin with three first-inning runs off of rookie starter Gerrit Cole. But the Pirates just shrugged it off, responding with a fast and furious seven-run 2nd inning barrage of their own. Cole and another rookie Ryan Reid, who earned his first save ever with three innings of shutout work, closed the door from then on in as the Pirates clubbed the Brewers 10-3 in achieving their MLB-leading 49th win of the season. Discounting their 1-5 start out of the gate, the team is now 23 games over .500 since the 8th of April.
In winning their seventh game in a row, the Pirates are now officially hot.
Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen led the 12-hit attack with three hits each in knocking in half of the Pirates’ 10 runs. McCutchen’s 8th inning solo blast, his ninth homer of the year, gave the Brewers one last shot for good measure in sending the 2011 Central Division champs down to their third straight loss and a last place record of 32-46.
It’s well known among serious Pirate fans that the Brewers have had the Pirates’ number for far too long, but this year, the tide is turning. With the convincing win last night at PNC Park before a near-sellout crowd of 36,875, the Pirates have now taken six of the last eight meetings between the two clubs, including winning two of three in their last trip to Miller Park, where they had been an unbelievably bad 9-47 since 2007.
So when the Brew Crew came out and scored an early three in the first and the Pirates responded with their biggest single inning of the season, it was as if they were saying, “No, this is not the way it’s going to be. Homey don’t play that game no more.”
The Pirates are the new bully on the block, at least as far as the cellar dwelling Brewers are concerned, and if there’s any sand to be kicking, they’ll be the ones kicking it.