Brewers 2, Pirates 1

This was a pitchers' duel all the way, with both Dave Bush and Paul Maholm moving quickly and racking up strikeouts. The Pirates' defense, in contrast to so many games we've seen this season, was very good, and Jack Wilson in particular was spectacular--he made a great play to snare a line drive late in the game, and started an amazing double play. Then, with a 1-1 score with no outs and a man on second in the eighth, Wilson got Bill Hall into a rundown between second and third, and then Jose Bautista caught Jason Kendall making too wide a turn at first.

This was an especially critical play, because it was Maholm who had allowed Hall to double in the first place. After having thrown 96 pitches through seven innings, John Russell allowed Maholm to lead off the eighth, even though the game was tied. With Matt Capps on the shelf and all kinds of question marks in the bullpen, Russell at least had good reasons for his decision, but the fans would've probably started a new round of questions about his judgment if Hall had come around to score.

The Brewers brought in Eric Gagne, fresh off the DL, to start the ninth, and I was pretty psyched about the Pirates' chances of winning, but they couldn't score. The Bucs brought in Tyler Yates in the bottom of the ninth.

I know Russell really is running low on options and I'm not sure I would have done anything different, but I still hate to see Yates in a situation like that. Whenever it's possible, the operative question with Yates should be, "Would a walk to the first batter be really, really bad here?" If the answer is yes, Yates shouldn't be pitching.
Anyway, Rickie Weeks was the first batter, and walking is pretty much the only thing he knows how to do right now, so it wasn't any surprise that Yates issued him a free pass. J.J. Hardy sacrificed (snapping a hitting streak that went back to June 11), and the Bucs walked Ryan Braun in order to set up a double play. Prince Fielder singled and the game was over.

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