MLB Game Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates - Date: 9/18/2017 Brewers face Pirates while trying to keep pace in race 2h ago• 3 min read PITTSBURGH -- The Milwaukee Brewers, still in the chase for a playoff spot, got three extra games at Miller Park. Now they take to the road to face a team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, that can only play a spoiler role in the National League Central race.Milwaukee, who won two of three over the weekend against the Miami Marlins, sit four games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the division and 2 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot."We're in a position where we can't really afford to look at the big picture," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We know the next day is vitally important. I don't think that's a problem at all. Where we're at in the standings is forcing us to not get too far ahead of ourselves." Milwaukee (79-70) has won seven of its past eight, including two of three against Pittsburgh last week at home. Winning Sports Picks Who You Should Follow. The Brewers open a series at PNC Park on Monday night.The Brewers were technically the visiting team against the Marlins after the weekend series was moved because of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in southern Florida."We won two out of three. We did what we're supposed to do," Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw said. "Still, we're on the wrong side, looking up at the scoreboard."A lot of things are out of our control right now, but at the same time, if we don't win, it doesn't matter what happens on that scoreboard and in those other cities. We have to take care of our business." Brent Suter (2-2, 3.66 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday against the Pirates. He is 0-0 with a 2.77 ERA in six career appearances, two of them starts, against Pittsburgh. Winning Sports Handicappers. That includes a no-decision Tuesday when he gave up two runs and three hits in three innings with one walk and three strikeouts.This will be the left-hander's third start and fourth appearance since coming off the DL on Aug. 31. Suter had been out due to a strained left rotator cuff. He has not pitched more than three innings since returning, and he could be limited again Monday.The Pirates (68-82) are opening their final homestand. Unlike Milwaukee, Pittsburgh has nothing to gain for the 2017 season, having been eliminated from playoff contention during a dismal 1-8 road trip that included getting swept over the weekend in Cincinnati.Pittsburgh also is now ensured a losing season for the 23rd time in 27 years.There is some incentive to avoid the cellar in the division. Free Sports Picks Today. The Pirates are just two games ahead of the last-place Cincinnati Reds.For the Brewers series, the Pirates are scheduled to send three promising pitchers to the mound in Jameson Taillon, Trevor Williams and Steven Brault. They are among a group of young arms who could be the basis of a strong rotation in the future.The Monday starter, Taillon (7-6, 4.78 ERA), is probably the cream of that crop, although there has been some concern that he is running out of steam this season.After he lasted just 4 2/3 innings on Sept. 7 in an 8-2 loss to the Cubs, allowing six runs and 11 hits with three strikeouts and one walk, Taillon was skipped in the rotation.The 25-year-old Florida native is 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA in five career starts against the Brewers.Taillon, after the loss to Chicago, insisted he wasn't struggling physically."I felt strong. I felt great," he said, but he has thrown 116 2/3 innings in 22 starts. He is 2-4 with a 7.17 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP since the All-Star break."He continues to fight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's one guy who's going to sleep real well this winter. He's poured everything he's got into this thing."There's going to be a day when it's going to be good for him to just sit in a chair and go, 'Whew! What did I just go through?'"One thing that could help Taillon and the other Pirates pitchers is better run support. Pittsburgh scored 20 runs during its road trip, although seven of those came in one game. In the past 11 games, the Pirates are averaging two runs a game."We haven't provided our pitchers much room for error," Hurdle said.
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