First inning: After surrendering a four-pitch, lead-off walk and watching Pedro Alvarez botch a potential double-pay ball, MacDonald served up a honeydew that Ryan Braun launched on an arc that play-by-play announcer Greg Brown described as a "Moo-oo--ooon Shot!" The Brewers poured it on from there to hand the Pirates a 12-8 shellacking.
Is it possible the Pirates will finish the season under .500? ... as unthinkable as that seemed at the All-Star break? With 29 games to play, could they possibly blow a seven game lead (on .500)? As the cattlemen say, let's take stock:
- Right now, for the season, with a record of 70-63, they are seven games over .500.
- For the month of August, with a record of 11-17, they were six games under .500.
- As of today, they would have to go 11-18 to finish the season at .500.
- They've lost nine of their last 12 games.
- At this pace, with 29 games to go, yes, they could finish below .500 for the season -- yet again -- and what an ignominious, disappointing and humiliating finish that would be.
As Tim Williams over at Pirates Prospects says, "The Tme to Start Playing Like Contenders is Now."