MILWAUKEE -- After a 15-inning marathon Friday night at Miller Park that saw the Brewers use all eight available relievers, Milwaukee needed its starter, Jhoulys Chacin (La Makina), to eat innings on Saturday."For both teams, it's a game where we're going to have shortened bullpens," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said
MILWAUKEE -- After a 15-inning marathon Friday night at Miller Park that saw the Brewers use all eight available relievers, Milwaukee needed its starter, Jhoulys Chacin (La Makina), to eat innings on Saturday.
"For both teams, it's a game where we're going to have shortened bullpens," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said before the game. "So, it's just one of those nights. You play 15 innings, the next day's game is going to be like that. The rest of the weekend some guys are going to have to pitch in and kind of get through the weekend."
Chacin provided six-plus innings, escaping jams throughout the night, but as the pitch count began to rise, things unraveled in the seventh inning. Chacin allowed three earned runs in Milwaukee's 9-1 loss to the Pirates. Two of those runs were scored off Dan Jennings (DJ), who entered the game with no outs and the bases loaded. Chacin also issued four walks, two of which were intentional.
"I think when you bring a guy in bases loaded, nobody out, you're not thinking you get out of there with nothing," Counsell said. "So we got out with two runs. I think you're hoping for one maybe but know that two is probably a bigger possibility. But you know he got out of the jam, he got the double play on the next hitter, and we were still in the game at that point, but offensively, we just couldn't get going tonight."
The Brewers are now 4 1/2 games behind the Cubs in the National League Central with the defeat, and they are now tied with the Rockies and D-backs for the second NL Wild Card spot.
Brewers reliever Taylor Williams (T. Willy) allowed three runs in the eighth, all on a home run from Adam Frazier. Matt Albers (Albie) pitched the ninth and saw his struggles continue, allowing three more runs.
"It's a similar thing that we saw before the disabled list," Counsell said of Albers' struggles. "That he's ahead of hitters and he just can't put them away. Some softer contact hurt him earlier in the inning [tonight] but he's getting to two strikes and he's kind of letting hitters back in the count and they're taking advantage of that."
Milwaukee's lone run came on Christian Yelich's (Yeli) 23rd home run, his fifth in his last seven games. That was all the Brewers could muster against Pirates pitching, which was led by six innings from Jameson Taillon, who struck out eight.
"Even my hangers, my curveball doesn't usually get hit like that," Taillon said. "That just tells me he's in a good spot, to be able to sit back on a curveball and hit to left-center. A bad pitch on me, but usually that's a double or an out. He's a great hitter."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Chacin's near miss: In the seventh inning, things quickly went south for the Brewers when home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook called a 3-2 slider that appeared to be in the strike zone from Chacin a ball. Clearly frustrated, Chacin allowed a double to Starling Marte and then issued an intentional walk before exiting in place of Jennings.
"It was a good game until the seventh, and just one pitch can hold the whole game," Chacin said. "I always say I'm not going to talk about the umpires missing calls, but in that situation, when the game is 1-1 in the seventh inning, leadoff guy, and you make a good pitch there it's really hard to miss that. It wasn't a borderline. It was clearly a strike and he just didn't call it, and you know it was tough luck for us there, but you know they pitched good and they won the game."
HE SAID IT
"We need these guys to pitch well. That's how I'm looking at it. We can't count on less from them. They're going to have to do the same jobs and they're going to have to get outs, and I think they will. There are a couple of guys that are going through a stretch where they're not getting outs, and we just have to keep believing and keep working, because they're going to be in those situations. We have to cover those 27 outs." -- Counsell, on the bullpen
Chase Anderson (Texas) will start the finale on Sunday at Miller Park for the Brewers. In two outings this season, Anderson has a 5.91 ERA over 10 2/3 innings against Pittsburgh. His 26 home runs allowed this season are tied for the most in the National League. Chris Archer will start for Pittsburgh. Milwaukee faced Archer last season when he was with the Rays, and the right-hander held them to one run over six innings. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. CT.
Catherine Garcia is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.