In the top of the fifth inning, the Brewers played their best Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street day for the Pirates at PNC Park. Kolten Wong drew a four-pitch walk—Zach Thompson’s only walk of the afternoon. As we know, leadoff walks come back to haunt you more times than not.
After a fly-out by Luis Urias to left-field, Omar Narvaez came to the plate with one out and a runner on first. Narvaez got a juicy middle-middle changeup and made Thompson pay with a deep shot to left field, clearing the wall.
That Narvaez two-run home run was enough for the Brewers to earn a series split with the Pirates as they won 2-0. The Buccos, after a rare off-day on the Fourth of July, will turn their sights on the New York Yankees for a quick two-game series.
Fresh off the IL, Pirates pitcher Thompson had a decent start considering the outside factors. Through the first four innings, Thompson used his cutter and sinker effectively in and out of the zone despite only two swings and misses during his outing.
There were a few instances where Thompson got some good receiving from Michael Perez on cutters running inside to lefties and getting ahead in the counts. The only inning that bit him on the behind was the fifth, where a leadoff walk came back to haunt him.
Other than the fifth inning, Thompson was effective despite his curveball not looking quite there yet. Thompson’s final line read 4.2 innings pitched, four hits, two earned runs, one walk, and two strikeouts. Thompson threw 67 pitches and had a 62% strike rate.
The Pirates offense didn’t muster much Sunday afternoon despite grabbing seven hits. The Pirates went 0-11 with runners in scoring position. Daniel Vogelbach led the way with the team’s only multi-hit game going 3-4.
The Pirates did threaten in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and two outs, but Bryan Reynolds recorded the final out and the Bucs fell short.
One Bad Pitch- Other than giving up a four-pitch walk, Thompson will want to go back and watch the first pitch he threw to Narvaez. How does the saying go? You hang em’ they bang em.’ Tis, the game of baseball, folks.
VogelHIT- The Pirates struggled to find offense obviously in a shutout loss, but it was nice to see Vogelbach have a great game going 3-4 on the afternoon.
Who Will Get Sent Down?- With Kevin Newman, Yoshi Tsutsugo, and even Ben Gamel close to returning, there will have to be some roster moves. Who out of the young group of Pirates will fall, victim?