The Milwaukee Brewers’ and Pittsburgh Pirates’ streaks were put on hold for a day as their scheduled series opener at PNC Park was postponed by rain on Friday.
The teams will play a split doubleheader of seven-inning games Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Milwaukee, which leads the National League Central, has won four in a row. The Brewers have the best road record in the big leagues, 38-19, and are 23-6 on the road against NL Central foes, including 10 straight wins.
The silver lining to the postponement for Milwaukee is that first baseman Rowdy Tellez and outfielder Avisail Garcia, who both left the team’s Wednesday game and did not start Thursday, could be available. Both were out of the announced lineup for Friday.
Manager Craig Counsell said Tellez, who has knee soreness, probably just needed another day of rest — one facilitated by the rain. Garcia, Counsell said, was still sore after being hit on the left hand by a pitch.
The Pirates, last in the NL Central, have lost eight in a row as their rebuilding season seems to be chugging toward 100 losses.
Pittsburgh has been working young and new faces into the lineup, and general manager Ben Cherington is professing patience.
“We need to give players the opportunity to improve, develop and make adjustments at the major league level, particularly those guys who have a chance of being part of what we’re doing,” Cherington said.
In the first game Saturday, Milwaukee will stick with left-hander Brett Anderson (4-5, 3.54 ERA), who was slated to start Friday, while Pittsburgh will switch to right-hander Bryse Wilson (2-5, 4.43), who had been listed for Saturday when it was a standalone game.
Wilson, formerly of the Atlanta Braves, will be making his third start for Pittsburgh and the 11th of his major league career. He is 0-2 with a 3.27 ERA since changing teams.
On Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds, he pitched well in a loss, giving up three runs and six hits in six innings with seven strikeouts and one walk.
His Pittsburgh debut came against Milwaukee on Aug. 2, when he pitched five innings and gave up one run and two hits, a performance that has led to more starts for him despite the Pirates having some options.
“Good first outing for Bryse,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said at the time. “That was good to see.”
Wilson is 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in two career starts against the Brewers.
Anderson, who is 2-0 over his past five starts, was sailing along Sunday against San Francisco before a calf cramp forced him out after limiting the Giants to one run and five hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked none.
In his career against Pittsburgh, Anderson is 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts, including 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (one unearned run in 13 innings) in two starts this year.
In the second game, Milwaukee left-hander Aaron Ashby (0-0, 13.50 ERA) is expected to start against right-hander Mitch Keller (3-9, 7.06 ERA), who had been scheduled to start Friday.
Ashby, a rookie, and Keller, who is a few years into his career, are trying to get their footing in the major leagues. Neither has faced Saturday’s opponent.
Ashby had a rough big league debut June 30, giving up seven runs, four of them earned, and four hits in two-thirds of an inning against the Chicago Cubs.
His second start was more efficient, but it was abbreviated. He pitched two scoreless innings of two-hit ball Tuesday, also against the Cubs.
Keller is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts since he spent time with Triple-A Indianapolis.
–Field Level Media