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Game thread: Pirates open (watershed?) five-game series with Brewers

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MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates begin a five-game home series against the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers tonight at 7:05pm. The series promises to bring an end to the absence of any coherent direction that’s plagued the Pirates for nearly three years . . . or not. GM Neal Huntington has placed, for him, highly unusual significance on the eight-game stretch that started with the Pirates winning two of three from Washington. Clint Hurdle added to the intrigue with the rather peevish statement that, “I was just told the importance of the eight games.” Hurdle added the probably meaningless comment, “There will be a day where I’ll have a last day.”

It’s questionable whether any particular showing by the Pirates, be it sweeping or getting swept or anything in between, will have any real significance. Despite being in a “position to add” in 2016 and 2017, as Huntington has bragged, the Pirates did little to nothing to address their many needs, either short- or long-term. If this stretch is any different . . . well, it’ll be something new.

Brewers

  1. Eric Thames, RF
  2. Lorenzo Cain, CF
  3. Christian Yelich, LF
  4. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
  5. Travis Shaw, 3B
  6. Brad Miller, 2B
  7. Tyler Saladino, SS
  8. Erik Kratz, C
  9. Wade Miley, P

Pirates

  1. Corey Dickerson, LF
  2. Starling Marte, CF
  3. Elias Diaz, C
  4. David Freese, 3B
  5. Jordan Luplow, RF
  6. Josh Bell, 1B
  7. Josh Harrison, 2B
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Jameson Taillon, P