In the latest sad episode for the Pittsburgh Pirates, they were dismantled by the Milwaukee Brewers for a final score of 10-1 Friday night. The Pirates have been completely disinterested in playing recently and it’s hard to blame them after the arrest of their closer, Felipe Vasquez. Let’s not try and pretend that the Pirates were interested in playing before that, though. It just compounded the situation and made things that much worse in the clubhouse.
The Pirates enter Saturday on a seven-game losing streak after getting torched by the Brewers last night. It’s perfect timing for the Brewers, who are in the midst of a wildcard race. The St. Louis Cardinals helped the Brewers out yesterday afternoon, as they defeated the Cubs, 2-1, to extend the Brewers’ lead. With the Brewers securing a win and the Cubs losing, the Brew Crew go into Saturday with a 2-game lead for the final wildcard.
The Brewers have chosen to use the injury to Christian Yelich as motivation, while the Cubs must have thought things were in the bag with the announcement of his placement on the IL. The Cubs are slipping with a four-game losing streak on their resume. They have one week to get things together and hope the Brewers start losing down the stretch. The good news for the Cubs is that the Brewers are going to close out the regular season with five straight games on the road.
However, the Cubs are going to spend their final games of the season on the road as well. There is some relief in sight with half of those games against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, though. The Brewers were able to take care of the Pirates easily last night. We’ll see if Zach Davies can direct Milwaukee to a repeat performance on Saturday. Rookie, James Marvel, who will be making just his third major league start, will be called on for the Pirates. Head below for our free Pirates vs. Brewers pick.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers Pick:
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There is nothing to lose for the Pirates giving James Marvel some work down the stretch. With nothing to play for, they might as well give the prospects some experience. If this is an audition for Marvel to stick in the rotation next season, then he hasn’t been doing his best to impressive the job interviewers.
Marvel has struggled in two starts and I doubt there is going to be much relief for him against the Brewers in this contest. He’s posted an ERA of 9.00 and 1.67 WHIP in 9 innings. In his lone outing on the road, Marvel was bashed for a 15.75 ERA and 2.25 WHIP against the Cubs. He allowed 9 hits and 7 earned runs in 4 innings of work.
Prior to getting the call to pitch in the majors, Marvel was pitching well with a 2.94 ERA in 162.1 innings. The Pirates still believe he can contribute in 2020 despite the spotty performance at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. Marvel is just getting a bad matchup against a Brewers team who look laser focused at the moment, though. They’ve scored 15 runs in their last two games and are 6-1 in their previous seven games.
Along with the team playing well as a whole, Zach Davies has been looking sharp as well. Davies enters Saturday with a 3.14 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in his previous three outings. He’s allowed 3 or fewer runs in his last four and 2 or fewer in four of his last six games. Pittsburgh have been anemic at the plate recently, as they’ve scored just 2.3 runs per game in their last six games. The Pirates don’t want to be here tonight, while the Brewers are playing like they’re on a mission. Consider a look at the Brewers for your baseball card on Saturday.