A football score: Brewers 20, Pirates 0
PITTSBURGH — The Milwaukee Brewers were historically good. The Pittsburgh Pirates were historically bad. It was the kind of kick-sand-in-your-face game that made players on both sides uneasy.
"It was one of those crazy games," said Brewers outfielder Jim Edmonds. "You never know what's going to happen when you step on the field.
"You keep playing and keep respecting the situation. They were trying; we were trying. There's a fine line between respecting them, respecting the game and still playing the game. It's a tough scenario on both sides.
"We weren't trying to embarrass anybody."
In that last regard, the Brewers failed miserably in crushing the Pittsburgh Pirates, 20-0, on Thursday afternoon at PNC Park.
It was the completion of a three-day annihilation by the visitors, the likes of which hadn't been seen in the major leagues for some time.
Now playing in their 124th season, the Pirates never had lost to anybody by 20 runs. You had to go all the way back to July 11, 1910, and an 18-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies to find any defeat like it for Pittsburgh.
"Today was an embarrassment," said Pittsburgh reliever Brendan Donnelly, who actually pitched a scoreless inning. "We should all be embarrassed to have major-league baseball uniforms on our back today.
"It was an atrocity. We set a record. We should all be embarrassed about it. That's how I feel."
Brewers manager Ken Macha did his best to call off the dogs, using most of his bench after six innings, but it didn't matter. The Brewers finished with 25 hits, second-highest figure in club history, with six players collecting two hits, two finishing with three hits and one — Edmonds — contributing four as he fell a triple shy of the cycle.
The 20-run victory matched the largest in club history (22-2 over Toronto on Aug. 28, 1992) and represented the Brewers' biggest shutout margin, eclipsing the 18-0 romp in Boston on Patriot's Day, 1990.
By outscoring the Pirates, 36-1, in the series, the Brewers became the first team to produce a 35-run differential over three games since Detroit outscored Minnesota, 45-10, from April 23-25, 1993.
"It's rare; it's special," said leftfielder Ryan Braun, who went 3 for 4 with a home run, double, single, walk, three runs and five RBI. "In this game, you deal with so much adversity, you deal with so much failure, when you do have a game like this, you need to enjoy it.
"It's the first time in my career, at any level, I've ever been a part of a game like this. And there's a good chance it's the last time. So you do need to enjoy it. It was one of those days when everything we hit found a hole."
Not to mention the other side of the fences. Beyond Braun, Prince Fielder homered for the first time this season, catcher George Kottaras socked his first in the National League and Edmonds hit his first since 2008 after sitting out last season.
Right-hander Daniel McCutchen (32/3 innings, eight hits, six runs) became the third Pittsburgh starter to be bludgeoned in the series. The three Pirates starters were tagged for 21 hits and 19 runs (17 earned) in a mere 92/3 innings as the Brewers stretched their winning streak to four.
On the flip side, lefty Randy Wolf became the third consecutive Brewers starter to not allow a run. Wolf had to pitch out of some tight spots early, stranding two runners in the second inning and three in the third, and called it a day after six shutout frames.
"That was fun to watch," said Wolf, who joined the offensive barrage with a couple of hits. "The whole series, our guys really swung the bats well. We just can't get caught up in it. We've still got a long way to go.
"We do play these guys again (next week). We can't get overconfident. We feel good about the way this series went, but we have to keep it in perspective. You don't ever take a team lightly or take anything for granted. Things start to bite you when you think that way."
The game remained unusual until the very end. Left-hander Manny Parra, in his first at-bat of the season, knocked in the 20th run with an RBI single in the ninth.
Trevor Hoffman, who has compiled an all-time high of 594 saves by closing out tight games, pitched the ninth with the first 20-run lead of his 18-year career. Hoffman hadn't pitched in a week and it was predetermined that he would get an inning, no matter the score.
"We played well for three days and it showed in the (overall) score," said Edmonds. "Stuff happens."
BY THE NUMBERS
A look at what the Brewers' offense did in a three-game sweep of the Pirates:
8 Home runs
25 Extra-base hits
.368 Batting average
.362 Average with runners in scoring position.
20-0: That's an old-fashioned Buc-kicking Brew
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