Milwaukee’s struggles with sub-.500 teams continues with a 7-0 loss to Pittsburgh

The Milwaukee Brewers have established a pattern, and it’s one that is unlikely to get them into the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Coming off a sweep of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, manager Craig Counsell’s team returned home Monday night and promptly lost 7-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, a squad that came in 10 games below .500.

The Pirates stymied the Milwaukee offense, with Steven Brault throwing six scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the year. Four relievers kept the Brewers at bay and the game was never really in doubt. In fact, Milwaukee didn’t manage to get a run into scoring position all night.

Unlike other recent outings in which the Brewers struggled offensively, the pitching staff wasn’t too good either. Brandon Woodruff gave up six runs over five innings of work, including home runs to Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte to fall to 1-2 on the season.

The loss continued a startling trend. Since Aug. 18, the Brewers are 1-5 against teams under .500, while owning an 11-4 record against the teams they are battling in the race for a playoff spot. And it’s left them in third place in the NL Central, a .5 game back of St. Louis and 2.5 games behind Chicago.

It’ll be the Pirates and Brewers again on Tuesday night at Miller Park.