With trade rumors swirling around several of the Pirates players over the last couple of weeks, and especially in the days and even hours leading up to the 4 PM deadline today, many were unsure as to what Pittsburgh’s lineup would look like as the entered Miller Park for tonight’s contest, a four game series finale, with the Brewers. As it turns out, not much different than it has for the previous 31 games. Trevor Williams, who had reportedly garnished attention from at least one other ball club, took the mound for what would be his seventh start of the year for the Pirates. On the season Williams had posted a 5.38 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP, with 26 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. His last start against the White Sox had been a disastrous one as he allowed 8 earned runs on 9 hits, 3 of these home runs, while striking out 3 and walking 2 in 6 innings of work. Across the diamond the Brewers set up to pitch a bullpen game as one of their relievers, lefty Brett Suter, started for Milwaukee as the opener. In his previous 9 appearances this year Suter had pitched only 13.1 total innings; compiling a 3.68 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. He also struck out 18 batters during this time and walked only 1.
After a 1-2-3 bottom of 1st, Williams found himself in trouble immediately in the 2nd as he quickly loaded the bases. Following a strike out and force at home he had almost successfully escaped, but thanks to single and throwing error by Kevin Newman, two Brewers would cross the plate. For Milwaukee the first two innings went smoothly as Suter struck out two and did not allow a single base run. In the top of the 3rd Suter was kept in the game; one of longer outings of the seasons and it began to show. He did retire the first two batters of the inning before walking the third and giving up up a game tying home run to Erik Gonzalez, his third of the year.
The Brew Crew did not allow the game to stay tied for long as the put another run on the board with an RBI single from Ben Gamel in the bottom of the third off of Williams. They would add to their lead in next inning due to another throwing error from Newman at second base, before chasing Trevor Williams from the game in the bottom of the 5th with a leadoff home run from Pirates Killer Keston Hiura. His final line for the game was very reminiscent of the majority of his starts this season as he allowed 3 earned runs on 7 hits, while striking out 6 and walking 2 on 89 pitches in 4 innings.
The good news for the Pirates was that they did get one of the runs back for Williams in the top of the 5th when an Adam Frazier base knock brought in Cole Tucker would had doubled earlier and that they eventually tied the game in the top of the sixth on a two run single from Jose Osuna; wiping away the mistakes by Newman and the other runs given up by Trevor, at least for the moment. Out of the bullpen lefty Sam Howard also kept Pittsburgh on track as he has the majority of the year, pitching two scoreless frames and striking out two along the way. He was replaced my Tyler Bashlor in the 7th, who continued where Howard left off, keeping their Brewers bats at bay for another inning. As for the Brewers they were finally able to find success in their fourth reliever of the night, Devin Williams, who pitched 1.2 innings without letting in a run and striking out four Pirates batters.
As the 8th inning began, Nik Turley entered the game and promptly gave up a double to Gamel for his third straight hit of the night. He would eventually be replaced by Chris Stratton after an intentional walk and ultimately to block the dreaded lefty pitcher-righty pinch hitter matchup. Unfortunately the strategy did not work in the Pirates favor as Orlando Arcia would hit the go-ahead single off of Stratton on an 86 mph slider that stayed in the zone.
Enter Josh Hader, who in his last outing versus the Pirates, walked 5 batter before being lifted from the game. However, things would be a little different as he struck out three Pittsburgh batters in order to record the save, secure the 6-5 win for the Brewers and ultimately take 3 out of 4 from the Pirates in series.
Tomorrow, the now 10-22 Pittsburgh Pirates travel back home to take on the Chicago Cubs at 7:05 PM, with Chad Kuhl (1-1, 2.52 ERA) scheduled to take on Jon Lester (2-1, 4.55 ERA).