July 15, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo (49) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
The Pirates struck out 17 times en route to a 4-1 loss to the Brewers Sunday afternoon. Yovani Gallardo had 14 strikeouts, often getting them on awkward swings and misses. The 17-strikeout total tied a franchise record for most strikeouts in a game.
The Bucs got on the board in the top of the fourth with an opposite-field solo homer by Andrew McCutchen, his 21st jack of the season. But the Pirates came apart in the bottom of the sixth. Nyjer Morgan led off with a single. Ryan Braun then smacked a line-drive single to right, and Garrett Jones made an awful throw back to the infield. Morgan scampered all the way home, and Braun wound up at third. Then Aramis Ramirez singled and Rickie Weeks and Martin Maldonado hit back-to-back doubles, and by the end of the inning, the Brewers were up 4-1.
Gallardo had 11 strikeouts at that point, so the Pirates' chances didn't look good, despite their recent heroics. This time, they went down quietly in the last three innings.
I'd really like to see Starling Marte promoted at this point. The Pirates currently only have two outfielders listed on their roster, McCutchen and Gorkys Hernandez, and only one of those guys actually plays. Jones and Drew Sutton are basically just guys who stand out there. I have no objection to using Jones out there occasionally, since his bat makes him worth playing. But his miscue today wasn't the only costly one Pirates corner outfielders have had recently. And Sutton's pixie dust appears to be wearing out offensively as well.
In any case, sorry for the late recaps this weekend -- it's been busy. They should hopefully be more timely most of the rest of this week.