Braun's walk-off blast keeps Brewers tied for Wild Card
Yovani Gallardo's return was a success. But the Pirates' Zach Duke had one of his best outings of the year on Thursday night as well, as Duke only allowed a lone run in the 3rd inning...and the Pirates countered quickly with a solo shot by Steve Pierce in the top of the 4th.
As the Crew headed into the bottom of the 9th tied at 1-1, they found out that the Mets had beaten the Cubs in the bottom of the ninth, meaning a win would only keep them tied for the NL Wild Card. Pirates' reliever Jesse Chavez proceeded to get two outs in the 9th; but eventually loaded the bases for Ryan Braun. With two strikes, Braun launched a monster shot to left to win the game, 5-1.
Brewers' manager Dale Sveum also announced that Jeff Suppan will start Friday's game against the Cubs, while Dave Bush is now slated to start Saturday in place of Ben Sheets. Hopefully, Suppan will find his groove and, if not, be on a short leash. Carlos Villanueva will likely not be available on Friday night, as he pitched two innings on Thursday night. Manny Parra and Seth McClung haven't pitched since the 19th and 21st, respectively, so either or both could be called upon for long relief duty on Friday night, as well as Mark DiFelice. Villanueva will be available on Saturday; it appears that Sveum is keeping Sheets out of the mix at this time, but they may try him on Sunday if CC Sabathia tires.