It has happened. The Pirates have not only beaten the Brewers, but twice in a row to win the series. And in Milwaukee, no less!
This comes on the back of a losing streak of epic proportions. There was the 20-0 loss at home that set a record for worst loss in franchise history. There were the losses in the games to follow with final scores that resembled that of a football game. No one expected the Pirates to be good in 2010 (not even me), but this was a new level of bad.
Nothing was going well for the Pirates. Seven losses in a row, during which the Pirates scored a total of only twelve runs. Their opponents, on the other hand, scored a total of 72.
The pitching was bad, the fielding was bad, the hitting was bad. Even the bullpen, which has absolutely been the most successful part of the Pirates so far, felt the wear and tear of being severely overworked.
These photos are from the second of the 7-game losing streak. You'll notice a distinct lack of festivities on the field before the game; only solemn hugs. I have no photos of the 20-0 loss; even if I'd taken any, I would have deleted them for fear of the bad luck that they might incur.
I can stomach looking at these photos now that we have finally beaten the Brewers. Looking back at them has proven interesting. Once a baseball team passes a certain point, everything goes wrong and the negativity feeds on itself. However, this game suggests what order the dominoes fell.
Duke had a fairly strong start, holding the Brewers to two runs through four innings. However, offense and defense were disappointing and Duke let in three runs in the fifth before hitting McGehee with a pitch. Further down are several photos of his clearly-upset reaction to this.
Here we see the Pirate Parrot looming over me.
A shot of Ryan Doumit, who was horrible in the first game in Milwaukee, only to get a grand slam to win the second game and a home run to tie the third.
Pissed-off Duke shot one.
Pissed-off Duke shot two.
McGehee gets hit.
...and five. One can only expect so much of a starting pitcher when he is getting no other help defensively or offensively.
When you are losing 7-0, most of the ballpark clears out. The people who stay are...interesting. Take this kid, for example. Three sections away, and this toy of his was still very annoying.
Yes, that's a Pirates fan with a bag over his head.
Several people sarcastically cheering.
I have no idea who these people are. I believe one is wearing a ladybug costume.
And so, yes, the Pirates lost this series in an epic kind of way. And the series after. But, we have beaten Milkwaukee twice in a row in their own ballpark. Is this a sign of things to come? Perhaps to some extent. However, as a Pirates fan, "some extent" can be very very exciting. My big concern about these horrendous losses is that they might have compelled Pirates management to stray from their plan for the franchise. This could have been something like bringing up Lincoln or Alvarez before they are ready (and neither of them are ready), or something more drastic like firing John Russell. However, the Pirates have won a reprieve from panic mode. And as ever, my patience remains absolute.