Starting Pitcher: Corbin Burnes - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 105 pitches, 68 strikes (64.8%)
Home Runs: None
Top 3 WPA: Mark Canha (.061), Andruw Monasterio (.029), Hoby Milner (.025)
Bottom 3 WPA: Corbin Burnes (-.201), Christian Yelich (-.131), Carlos Santana (-.111)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
Burnes Gets Burned By Homers
After managing just two hits in the first three innings, the Pirates finally figured out how to hit Burnes and tagged him for four earned runs. After a leadoff double by Andrew McCutchen in the fourth, Jack Suwinski hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 2-2.
Things got worse in the fifth inning, as Burnes gave up a solo home run to Ke’Bryan Hayes and back-to-back doubles to Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen.
On the bright side, it didn’t seem like any one pitch was to blame. His seven hits came pretty evenly distributed over his cutter, curveball, changeup, and slider. He was also able to get 16 swings and misses, receiving equal contributions from his slider, cutter, and curve.
On the dark side, it seems that it might be a while before Corbin Burnes has another season with a sub-3.00 ERA. After having a smoking-hot July where he posted a 1.85 ERA over 39 innings pitched, Burnes regressed again, posting a 3.98 ERA in August over 31 2/3 innings pitched.
He currently has a 3.63 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP over 171 innings for the year.
Small Early Lead Doesn’t Hold Up
The Brewers struck first, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. After back-to-back walks by Sal Frelick and Willy Adames, Mark Canha was hit by a pitch, to load the bases with no outs. Two consecutive sacrifice flies by Victor Caratini and Brice Turang scored what would ultimately be the Brewers’ only two runs.
The closest thing the team had to an offensive rally thereafter was the fourth inning, in which a Caratini double and an Andruw Monasterio single put a runner on third with just one out. Unfortunately, a tailor-made double play ball by Christian Yelich dashed any hopes of plating Caratini and raising further offensive momentum.
Milner Continues To Be Immensely Underrated
While they weren’t able to directly contribute to scoring themselves, Hoby Milner and Bryse Wilson kept the game as close as possible, combining for two scoreless innings of relief.
Milner, in particular, continues to have a standout year, posting an impressive 2.09 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 56 innings pitched. For a reliever with an 89-mph fastball, that’s shocking. With a great ability to pitch to contact and one of the best defensive teams in the sport, he’s been able to play to his strengths and add value to the team in 2023.
In the second game of the series, Brandon Woodruff will face a still-to-be-determined starter. With just a 2.5-game lead over the Chicago Cubs for the lead in the NL Central, every game for the Brewers is crucial, even if it’s against the Pirates--who are seven games back from the NL Wild Card spot.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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