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Brewers 8, Pirates 2: Umps Defeat Bucs

Let it be noted that the Pirates did not play especially well today. They missed opportunities on offense, they didn't field well (with Pedro Alvarez botching a throw to third and Andrew McCutchen badly misjudging a ball in the outfield), and they allowed three home runs. But also, it's really, really hard to win when the umps are working against you. The umps blew three separate calls against the Bucs today, two of which were important.

One came when Ryan Doumit threw down to second to catch a runner trying to steal. His throw was high and wide, but Ronny Cedeno made a great play to make the catch and tag the runner while still in midair. The ump called him safe.

Then there was Neil Walker's double play in the seventh. McCutchen doubled to lead off the inning in what was then a 2-1 game, and Jose Tabata walked. At that point, with no outs, the Pirates had a great opportunity to at least tie the game and perhaps grab a lead. But Walker's grounder resulted in the Brewers getting Tabata, and the ump called Walker out at first as well. The play was very close, but replays showed that he was safe.The Pirates didn't score in the inning. Clint Hurdle was thrown out for arguing the play.

The there was the bottom of the seventh. Corey Hart led off with a double, and then Rickie Weeks hit a grounder that resulted in the aforementioned error by Alvarez. Craig Counsell then hit into a fielder's choice that resulted in Hart being called safe at the plate, even though Ryan Doumit had done a great job blocking it and Hart never even touched it. That thoroughly blown call might have turned out to be the difference in the game, as the Brewers ended up scoring five times in what turned out to be an epic inning.

Jeff Karstens actually pitched reasonably well today, I thought. He had five strikeouts against one walk, mostly due to setting up hitters very well. He gave up solo homers to Prince Fielder and Brandon Boggs. The Fielder homer was on a curveball that caught more of the plate than Karstens might have liked, but at least it was low. And the Boggs homer was on a slider low and away that really wasn't that bad of a pitch. He deserved better.