The Pirates coming into tonight’s contest have played 47 games, and in that time they have managed to have a starter last six innings 4 times. The bullpen has been a problem no doubt but it would be hard to expect the most seasoned of relief arms to withstand the workload the starting rotation has placed on them.
JT Brubaker took the mound in only his 9th appearance of the season following his worst outing in his major league career where he went 5.1 innings against the Cubs and gave up 7 runs.
Tonight was a different story, Brubaker was hitting his spots and gave up one run over 5.1 innings as his bid to be the fifth Pirates starter to complete 6 innings would end on his 92nd pitch of the evening. All in all a productive night for the young man and a really nice bounce back performance.
We’ve long since forgotten what used to be considered a quality start in Pittsburgh, but perhaps another thing we could look for is how often our starters exit with the team in position to win. I’d count but I’m not sure how the add in the piggyback stuff, so it’s either 6 or 9 depending on how you want to factor them in.
Players like this will need to become more of a factor next season and it’s really good to see the young man go out and shove. Now before we get too high on him, he can be more economical with his pitches still, his stuff is good enough to avoid barrels if he trusts it. And that 1 run over 5.1 could easily have been 2 if Sam Howard didn’t come in with one out and strand a runner at 3rd. Really nice work from that young man as well.
The offense is anemic beyond words. Josh Bell is hammering the ball and taking his walks, he really is coming out of this season long slump at this point and Ke’Bryan Hayes has been a total pro at the plate and the field. You see Ke’Bryan deserves a save too for keeping Brubaker’s line clean as the single that scored the Reds run in the 5th was cut off, Hayes made a beeline for the runner breaking from first and alertly turned on a dime and gunned down the runner heading home.
The kid is not playing like a rookie, again, I’m not ready to anoint the kid as Wade Boggs just yet, but what we’ve seen so far, he looks the part.
Unfortunately, those two hitters aren’t enough to win most nights, especially since one just started hitting and the other inexplicably sits three times a week.
Chris Stratton pitched a clean 7th and the Pirates would face Archie Bradley in relief of Luis Castillo who was lights out in the 8th and he quickly put the Pirates away in order.
The Pirates stuck with Stratton for the bottom half of the 8th and he struck out his batter and turned the ball over to Nik Turley with Shogo Akiyama coming to the plate. A nifty strikeout on a backdoor breaking ball and on to Castellanos who flew out to center.
In the 9th the Reds send Iglesias to the mound with a scary lead against any team at Great American Ballpark, 1-0. The Pirates sent Adam Frazier, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Colin Moran against the fireball throwing right hander. He would set them down on only 7 pitches to earn the save.
Well played ballgame, but in it’s most basic nature, you can’t win if you don’t score.
Reds Win 1-0 to complete the 4 game sweep of the Pirates and extend the Bucs losing streak to 8 games which would be bad in a 162 game season, let alone 60.
News & Notes:
- John Ryan Murphy is 0-11 against the Reds this season with 11 Strikeouts, Yikes
- Erik Gonzalez struck out his first three at bats tonight and didn’t look great doing it. He’s crashing back to earth a bit.
- Bryan Reynolds pinch hit in the 8th and he is 2 for 17 on this road trip, batting only .174 nobody has been a bigger disappointment this season, no not even Polanco (we expected Reynolds to be good)
- Sam Howard has stranded 4 runners at third with less than 2 outs this season including the one he inherited tonight.
- I love the 6:40 start time in Cincinnati.