Game 21 Thoughts: Deja Vu

fangraphs

W: D.J. Carrasco (1-0)
L: Manny Parra (0-1)

PIT HR: Ryan Doumit (3), Andy LaRoche (2), Andrew McCutchen 2 (3)
MIL HR: Corey Hart (3), Carlos Gomez (2)

Oh boy, where to start?

Trevor Hoffman blew his fourth save of the season — his second in a row — and ultimately cost the Brewers the game as they lost in 14 innings.

The game lasted so long that it’s easy to forget what happened early on. Chris Narveson had an extremely tough time in the first inning of his first start of the year, giving up 3 runs on 2 homers before recording an out. Narveson did the improbable, though, and shut down the Pirates from that point on, ultimately leaving the game in line for the win after pitching 5 innings.

Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey, and LaTroy Hawkins were nearly flawless in relief, but the Brewers were unable to tack on any more runs, which meant Hoffman once again had to protect a one-run lead.

Once again, the Brewers’ lead in the 9th was gone after just a few pitches — Doumit led off the 9th with a pinch-hit blast that tied the game. Thankfully, Hoffman was able to keep the game tied, and the game went into extras.

In another puzzling bullpen move (Macha strangely used Villanueva in the 6th, despite the fact he’s been the best reliever at this point), Claudio Vargas was sent out to pitch the 10th, and promptly gave up a leadoff homer to McCutchen, good for the centerfielder’s second blast of the game.

A thrilling bottom of the 10th saw the Brewers tie the game once again, but come short in winning it when Alcides Escobar swung at the first pitch after Gregg Zaun walked on four pitches, popping out to end the inning.

The Brewers nearly won it again in the 13th, but Jim Edmonds was thrown out at home, and the Pirates went on to score in the 14th. The Brewers went down quietly in the bottom half of the inning to end a 1-5 homestand.

Overall, this was an incredibly frustrating end to the homestand. Not only should the Brewers have walked away from this series with another sweep of the Pirates, but the extra innings game caused the Brewers to burn up the vast majority of their bullpen before the start of a West Coast road trip that starts tomorrow night. If we knew this was going to be the end result, maybe it would’ve just been better for Hoffman to give up another grand slam in the 9th.

It might sound silly when you look at the big picture, but the Brewers really, really needed a series win agains the Pirates. West Coast road trips have never been kind to the Brewers, and I felt that way even before the Padres became one of baseball’s most surprising teams this month. Now the Brewers have to face a Padres club that’s finding ways to win a ton of close games with a bullpen full of guys who are either gased or doubting themselves.

I think I just threw up in my mouth. Ugh.

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