Milwaukee Brewers 9 Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Milwaukee Brewers 2 Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Milwaukee Brewers 11 Pittsburgh Pirates 6
MVPs of the Series:
JJ Hardy: 7/12; 3 HRs, 2B, 3 Rs, 6 RBIs, BB
Jason Bay: 4/11; HR, 2 BBs, R, RBI
JJ has been hot, I mean really hot. I fear ruining that because I'm a superstitious baseball man at heart , but I'll just throw out his numbers over the last ten games: .500/.533/1.000 with five homeruns, six doubles and 11 RBIs. And that doesn't include today's 3/4, two home run affair. That's enough jinxing, but I do want to give JJ props for sacrificing his 16 game hit streak to move Rickie Weeks to second in Saturday's one run walk off.
No Pirate really stuck out this series. With the exception of this afternoon's game, there wasn't much offense coming out of the visitor's dugout, but Jason Bay was the most consistent of the bunch. I'm not sure how much longer Jason will be willing to stick in Pittsburgh. He won't be a superstar on any other team, but he could really contribute somewhere in the league if given the opportunity.
What Was the Difference?:
This is kind of hard to be completely honest. The Brewers completely dominated the Pirates as the score shows, but the numbers are very odd. For instance, nine hits and four walks resulted in only one run including no GIDPs or pickoffs. And then there was today's affair where both teams gave up six runs in the first three innings, so it wasn't the starting pitching either. In the end, I'm just going to give it to the Brewers bullpen. After giving up six runs without recording an out on Thursday, they bounced back by pitching 10.1 innings of scoreless baseball. The Pirates on the other hand gave up seven runs in their 9.1 innings.
Causes for Excitement:
There weren't too many positives this week for the Pirates as they were swept clean out of Milwaukee after coming down from four runs today, but something good can be taken from today. A year ago baseball experts had tossed Paul Maholm on to their radar as an up and coming star. He was said to have the potential to be an ace this year, but up until his last few starts, Maholm has been quite disappointing. Maholm has given up six runs in his last 22 innings and has had a quality start in six of his last seven appearances.
C.C. Sabathia. This team did what it was supposed to this weekend, which was sweep a very poor team at home. With that being said, the addition of Sabathia could turn this mediocre rotation into a top notch one with one single arm. And to top it off, the Brewers don't have to change their current roster at all. All they'll have to do is move Mitch Stetter back to the minors or trade McClung or Bush to a team that needs more pitching depth. Keep your eyes open since it is likely the trade, if it does happen, will be finalized this evening or tomorrow morning, leaving the afternoon open for a press conference during the Indians off day.
Causes for Concern:
The Pirates defense this weekend was atrocious. If your stuck with mediocre talent at the plate and a particularly below average pitching staff, you need to have the defense to cut them some slack every now and then. The Pirates didn't do that at all committing five errors this series. Be prepared for the sale of Xavier Nady to gain some depth in their system. That may help, but a lot of work needs to be done by the Pirates organization to get this team any where near competitive.
Base running blunders are starting to become all too common for the Crew, and it's about time they did something about it. The Brewers were caught stealing twice and picked off once this inning and every time I turn my head, they're making outs on the bases. But I guess if this is my biggest nit pick about the team, they're doing pretty well at home.