ORE HILL - Ken Macha didn't get to stick around Milwaukee long enough to enjoy what the Brewers are doing now and could continue to do for a few years, but he knows plenty about how they have tortured the Pirates.
It has to make Bucco fans sick getting bludgeoned game after game by the Brew Crew. Tuesday's 11-4 thumping made the season series Milwaukee 10, Pittsburgh 1.
Since 2007, it's 56-18.
And the most mind-boggling stat: The Brewers are 36-3 against the Pirates in Milwaukee since '07.
"That's very tough to explain," Macha said Tuesday after playing in the Becky Sheetz Memorial Golf Tournament at Iron Masters Country Club.
Macha spent the past two seasons managing the Brewers and watched his club own the Bucs, especially at Miller Park. He also was on the bench during the low point of the Pirates' soon-to-be 19-year losing streak, a 20-0 disaster at the hands of the Brewers in April of 2010.
Owning the Bucs
Milwaukee's record against Pittsburgh since 2007:
Note: The Brewers also are 36-3 at home against the Pirates since 2007.
Macha's team ripped 25 hits in that debacle at PNC Park, but it gave the Pittsburgh-area native no joy seeing his hometown team get humiliated.
"You don't ever want to see anybody get beat like that," said Macha, who's widely regarded as a high-class baseball man. "It was just one of those days where every ball we hit just found a hole. It just is one of those things that happen."
Bad things seem to happen to the Pirates every time they play the Brewers. Milwaukee's remarkable dominance in the series is highly unusual in baseball, although Macha noted he's been around other such unusual circumstances in his career.
"I was part of the Oakland A's back in I think it was '02, we won 20 straight games," he said. "That's tough to fathom. And then in '03 we were playing the Seattle Mariners, lost the first game of the series against them that year, won 17 straight against them and wound up 17-2 against that team."
Macha, who played for the Pirates in 1974 and 1977-78, continues to show loyalty toward the organization.
"I'm a Pittsburgher, former Pirate," he said. "I'd love to see them guys get it turned around. They're starting to do that this year. They've got some great young talent in there."
The problem is, so do the Brewers.
There's no doubt the Pirates have made huge strides this season, and they deserve high praise for that.
But they're now 16 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central. And nine behind the Cardinals. And two behind the Reds.
If the Bucs were in a bubble, it would be easy to think they would just keep getting better and better. It's not that simple, however, because chances are the Brewers and Cardinals also will keep improving, maintaining a comfortable gap between themselves and the Pirates.
The Brewers already have star outfielder Ryan Braun locked up with an enormous contract ($145.5 million through 2020).
If Milwaukee can come up with enough money to re-sign first baseman Prince Fielder and the Cardinals can do the same with first baseman Albert Pujols, even an up-and-coming Pirates squad - one with much more limited financial resources - could have a tough time keeping up in the division.
"Those are two big ifs," said Pirates broadcaster Kent Tekulve, who also played in Tuesday's charity golf outing.
Even if they can't re-sign Fielder, the Brewers can take the $15.5 million they're paying him this season and go after another bopping first baseman.
Tekulve believes a big part of the Pirates' problems with the Brewers boils down to confidence. One team has it, while the other knows it hasn't stood much of a chance in recent years.
"I think the Brewers feel like kings of the world when they see the Pirates in the other dugout," he said. "They are very comfortable right now, and they're not even worried when they come into town whether they're going to win games or not.
"They're worried about how many home runs they're going to hit, how much the pitchers are going to lower their earned run average. It's already a given that they're going to beat up on the Pirates. The first thing you have to overcome is that mentality. You have to punch on them a couple times and get their attention. But right now they are just a very confident group."
Macha was fired after last season, when the Brewers went 77-85, so he's missing out on a team that could match up well with the Phillies come time for the NL Championship Series.
Asked if he misses what might have been, Macha said, "Yeah, in a way I do, but that's baseball."
This is a much different Brewers team, he added, than the one he had the past two years as the organization has gone out and made a number of good acquisitions to bolster the roster, such as pitchers Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum.
"They've got a stronger bench, stronger bullpen, better rotation," Macha said. "And you know, when it comes down to it, you play a lot of games where it's decided by one or two runs, just a little push here or there can help you out. And they've been getting those pushes."
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. He can be reached at 949-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.