Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Anatomy of the Pirates' 17-game Losing Streak to the Brewers

And it continues. 17 straight losses to Milwaukee for the Pirates. How did we get here? Let's go back in the way-back machine, all the way back to July 4, 2008.

Here goes:

Loss #1: July 4, 2008
9-1 Brewers

The Pirates might not look fondly back upon Independence Day 2008, the beginning of the streak. Tom Gorzellany pitched a fairly ineffective 4.1 innings, giving up 8 runs on 11 hits and 4 walks. Bill Hall was probably the offensive star, going 3-4 with a home run and 3 RBIs to raise his average to .217 on the year. Sheets got the win, though he had to throw 120 pitches to get through 5.2 innings.

Loss #2: July 5, 2008
2-1 Brewers

Paul Maholm pitched well, going 8 innings giving up 1 run, but Dave Bush matched him. And our pal Tyler Yates came into the 9th and promptly gave up a walk-off RBI to Prince. Eric Gagne with the win.

Loss #3: July 6, 2008
11-6 Brewers

Another super start for the Pirates, as Zach Duke twirled 2.1 innings giving up 6 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. Suppan nearly matched him by giving up 6 runs of his own through 3 innings, but JJ homered twice and Braun homered as well to bail out Suppan. The bullpen threw 6 shutout innings. Jason Bay homered for Pittsburgh. Pirates fans would probably prefer to still have Jason Bay on their team rather than that mess that they got for him.

Loss #4: August 22, 2008
10-4 Brewers

Zach Duke and reliever D. Bautista combined to go 6 innings giving up 8 runs. Actually that's not fair to Duke, given that D. Bautista went 0 innings and gave up 4 runs. This was a 4-3 game until Milwaukee put up a 6 spot in the 7th inning. Dave Bush pitched pretty well for the win. Rickie Weeks went 1-4 to raise his average to .229.

Loss #5: August 23, 2008
6-3 Brewers

Yet another brutal start from a Pirate, with Tom Gorzellany giving up 6 runs in 4.2 innings. Braun homered and doubled, driving in 3. Jeff Suppan with the win. Prince got caught stealing for the first time all season.

Loss #6: August 24, 2008
4-3 Brewers (12 innings)

Solomon Torres blew a save in the 9th inning, his second inning of work in relief of some Sabathia guy. Paul Maholm scattered 12 hits over 6 innings, somehow only giving up 2 runs. Mike Cameron was 5-5 with a home run, but JJ Hardy won the game in the 12th with an RBI single. It was Hardy's bobblehead game. Bill Hall went 3-4 to raise his batting average to .225.

Loss #7: August 29, 2008
3-1 Brewers

Bush, Shouse, Gagne and Torres combined to hold Pittsburgh to 1 run. Braun doubled and homered. Weeks and Prince both erred in the game. But it didn't matter.

Loss #8: August 30, 2008
11-3 Brewers

Hey, it was only 2-0 Brewers through 5 innings! But then Milwaukee scored 5 runs in the 6th. And that was pretty much that. Jeff Suppan with the win to lower his ERA to 4.49.

Loss #9: August 31, 2008
7-0 Brewers

CC Sabathia pitched a no-hitter in this one, striking out 11. Actually the official scorer in Pittsburgh gave Adam LaRoche's brother a hit in the game, but we all called bullshit on that at the time.

Loss #10: September 23, 2008
7-5 Brewers

In the midst of the race to the Wild Card, Prince hit a walk-off 2-run bomb to cap a comeback win for manager Dale Svuem in a game in which the Brewers trailed in the 8th inning. The win allowed Milwaukee to stay 1 game back of the Mets for the Wild Card.

Loss #11: September 24, 2008
4-2 Brewers

Sabathia pitched 7 innings on short rest, striking out 11 Pirates as the Brewers pulled even with the Mets in the Wild Card. The Pirates dropped to 65-93 on the year.

Loss #12: September 25, 2008
5-1 Brewers (10 innings)

Nothing much happened in this particular one, other than the return of Yovani Gallardo after tearing his knee up earlier in the season and a walk-off grand slam by Ryan Braun off of Jesse Chavez in extra innings. Gallardo struck out 7 in 4 innings and the bullpen threw 6 scoreless innings. Zach Duke actually pitched a good game, giving up 1 run over 7 innings. But sadly, the Pirates ended the season losing 12 straight to Milwaukee.

Loss #13: April 27, 2009
10-5 Brewers

Clearly sick of Ryan Braun after homering in two consecutive at bats (the grand slam last September and then another home run in the first inning of this game), Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens dotted Braun in the upper back in his next at bat for some reason. A 5-5 game in the 8th inning, the Brewers scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th to win going away. Tyler Yates and John Grabow both struggled out of the bullpen. Trevor Hoffman made his Brewers debut in this game, with Hell's Bells played in a 5-run game.

Loss #14: April 28, 2009
6-5 Brewers

Both starters blew in this game, with Bush and Maholm both giving up 5 runs. However, the Brewers bullpen held Pittsburgh scoreless for 4 innings, and Rickie Weeks hit the go-ahead home run in the 6th inning. Hoffman got save #1 in a Brewers uniform.

Loss #15: April 29, 2009
1-0 Brewers

Yovani Gallardo pitched. He hit a home run. He won.

Loss #16: May 4, 2009
7-4 Brewers

Pittsburgh invented a new way to lose to the Brewers in this game, giving up a game-tying 2-run, pinch hit double to Ryan Braun in the 8th inning, fresh off an airplane from Milwaukee. Then taking back the lead in the 8th inning, only to have "closer" Matt Capps turn PNC into his own personal nuclear disaster zone by giving up 4 in the 9th. This included a game-winning 3-run bomb from Rickie Weeks, who has hurt Pirate pitching this season. That's 6 runs in the last 2 innings.

Loss #17: May 5, 2009
8-5 Brewers

It's 17 straight. Suppan with a decent start, the Pirates walked 10, and JJ Hardy was 3 for 3 with 4 RBIs.

Some fun facts on the streak, according to my research that I didn't double-check:
  • The Brewers have outscored the Pirates 113-49 during the streak.
  • There have been 2 extra-inning games.
  • Four 1-run games.
  • The Brewers have scored 10 or more runs 4 times.
  • They trailed or were tied with Pittsburgh in the 8th inning or later 6 times.
  • Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan started a lot of these games.
  • CC Sabathia threw a no-hitter.

We'll pick it back up in Pittsburgh on July 20.


Todd said...

I love how you guys have hired a research and development team. Nice!

Also, I wanted Prince to foul a pitch off of the face of that guy yelling at every Brewers batter for the final 3 innings.

Pitt=FlyoverCountry said...

I was so hoping that Braun would have hit a grand slam and took a 3 minute walk around the bases, flipping off each of the 37 fans in attendance, but I'll take the W instead.

Kind of nice that we now have 2 1/2 months to enjoy it before we play them again. The streak can't last much longer, but having the record is nice.

Woz said...

seriously, why would anybody pay for a $20 lap dance at Silk when you can get a $10 dance on the floor with a shot at the end.

It seriously makes no sense.

Yeah I just went there.

BB said...

"Loss #3: July 6, 2008"

I believe this was also the day the Brewers traded for CC.

Lance's Other Nut said...


Wondered the same thing during a bachelor party, simple reason, all the chicks doing the $10 dance were disgusting and the hot chicks were only doing the $20 (for the most part).

Strippers are not that dumb when it comes to money, apparently.

Nubs said...


As you tirelessly work to achieve your billable hours mark at work I have to ask if Chucky Hacks can afford this kind of research time and effort on your part?

Brad you better start selling more coffee mugs and bumper stickers.

Nice work Matt.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about this streak is that it is completely in the Pirates' heads.

Anonymous said...

Re: Loss #6 (the 12 inning game) - it was also notable, I believe, for the incredible escape job that Mota pulled off in extras - bases loaded, nobody out.

Matt said...

Another fun fact.

Since this streak started the Brewers are 17-0 vs. Pittsburgh, and 42-45 vs. everybody else.

Thanks Pittsburgh!