Happ, Brubaker Shine, Pirates (9-11) Fall 2-0 to Twins in Series Opener

If you love pitching and defense, with a hint of attention seeking umpiring, man, what a game this was for you.

More on the ump show as my good friend Craig put it in a moment, it really doesn’t deserve the headline today. No today JT Brubaker and J.A. Happ deserve the lion’s share of attention.

Out of sheer respect I’ll start with Happ. He was simply dominant. The ump absolutely stretched this no hit bid out a little, but it takes nothing away from the 7.1 innings of absolute dominance. At least the top of the Bucs order hasn’t exactly been dormant as you know either. Kudos on a beautifully pitched game.

Just the same, it was nice to see Jacob Stallings break out of his funk and break up the bid at the same time with a well struck double.

Back to JT, man, what can you say, he got beat, it happens.

Willians Astudillo took him deep on a very high fastball and Jake Cave tagged him too. Aside from that, dominant.

No walks, not even close often really. Five Strikeouts, two when he really needed them. Sprinkled 3 more hits and gave the Pirates 7 strong innings.

The young man is not a fluke and his demeanor and pitch mix are what led me to call for him to be the perceived best starter on the team.

Moral victories don’t count of course, but there was nothing in this start from Brubaker to dislike.

Well played and enjoyable ballgame all in all.

Back at it tomorrow 2:10, Trevor Cahill (0-2), 969 ERA vs Michael Pineda (1-0), 1.00 ERA,

News & Notes

  • Sam Howard struck out the side in the 8th inning to keep it close, he’s becoming a leverage pitcher in this pen.
  • Tough to find a ton of game notes when the club gets one hit. I can’t even say anyone had a horrific approach or was chasing. Happ was just really good, and nobody was able to step up and square anything he threw until Jake said no.
  • Earlier in the day it was reported, that Hayes was evaluated and treated and is feeling better. The team will get eyes on him when they’re back in Pittsburgh. Sounds like it’s not worse or leading to surgery. Jason Mackey seemed to allude to the idea he might have to “grind” through it. I hope that doesn’t mean he won’t be 100% because I’d rather him just get right first. Also could just be conjecture by a seasoned reporter.
  • Gregory Polanco was benched facing a lefty tonight and Wilmer Difo played RF, aside from a bugaboo on a popup that could have been either on Difo or Todd Frazier he seemed to handle the position well, but it’s also not like Brubaker was making it look like a shooting gallery out there.
  • Todd Frazier is 0-7, only one strikeout and he did drill a homerun in just about anywhere but Detroit. I don’t bring this up to point out one player’s shortcomings, I’m wondering how difficult it must be to jump from the Alternate site to facing MLB pitching. If anyone can do it you’d think it would be a seasoned vet. It’s interesting and I hope someone asks him about it at some point.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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