© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Pirates celebrate after Josh Bell walk-off hit.
- The Pirates (-102) were looking for a rare five-game sweep of the Brewers on Sunday.
- But it didn't look like that would happen after Milwaukee took a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning.
- However, Pittsburgh had a little two-out magic up its sleeve to pull off the improbable walk-off win in extras.
In case you missed it, the gambling Gods decided to torture baseball bettors with one of the worst beats of the month yesterday. It was certainly a cruel sendoff to the All-Star break for some.
The Pirates (-102) were looking for a rare five-game sweep of the Brewers on Sunday. After Milwaukee struck first on a Travis Shaw solo shot in the second inning, Pitt answered in the third with a Corey Dickerson two-run homer. That blast came with two outs after starter Joe Musgrove reached on an error, which couldn’t have pleased Milwaukee moneyline bettors. Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin allowed two runs (one earned) on just one hit and no walks in 5.1 innings.
However, the Brewers got that unearned run back in the sixth, and the game would remain tied (2-2) until the eighth inning — to the delight of under 7.5 backers.
Musgrove then came back out for the eighth, which was a mistake in hindsight. After the righty allowed the first two men to reach, manager Clint Hurdle kept him in — even after Musgrove walked the bases loaded with two outs.
That decision backfired, as Brett Phillips smacked a bases-clearing triple to give the Brewers a 5-2 lead. Under and Pitt moneyline bettors had to be screaming at Hurdle for leaving Musgrove on the bump.
Considering Milwaukee had Jeremy Jeffress and Corey Knebel available, the Brew Crew should easily close this out, right?
Not quite. The Pirates added one in the eighth to pull within two, which sent under 7.5 tickets up in flames.
After a scoreless top of the ninth, Knebel (who got the last out in the eighth) came back out for the save. Things got off to a rocky start after singles by Colin Moran and Josh Bell followed by a Max Moroff walk loaded the bases with nobody out. The sweat was now officially on.
Just as Milwaukee bettors started to lose hope, Knebel got Jordy Mercer to ground into a double play. A run scored, but the Brewers were now one out away. Knebel then got ahead 1-2 on pinch-hitter David Freese. One strike away, but then …
A two-out, two-strike triple to tie the game. Well, at least all hope wasn’t lost, as the Pirates left Freese stranded at third — and we headed to extra innings.
The Brewers wasted no time in extra frames, as Phillips struck once again with an RBI single to give Milwaukee a 6-5 lead.
Milwaukee then called on Taylor Williams for its second save attempt in as many innings. He did allow a Gregory Polanco single, but retired the two other batters he faced. The Brewers (and their bettors) were once again one out away from victory.
Manager Craig Counsell decided to make another pitching change and bring in Dan Jennings, who was greeted by a single. That put runners on first and third with two outs.
Bell then came to the plate in the pouring rain. And on a 1-0 count, he smacked a line drive to center that looked like Lorenzo Cain would track down to end the game.
But it went over Cain’s head! Now the question is would Moran score from first to win it for Pitt? The throw beat Moran to the plate, but it got past the catcher — and that gave us the answer in the form of a moose.
Raise the Jolly Roger and lower the life expectancy of anybody who bet on the Brewers. At least there’s no baseball to lose money on tonight — unless you bet the Home Run Derby.