Prior to the start of the Pirates series with the Reds, I already had Tuesday’s contest circled as the most likely chance to add one to the win column for Pittsburgh; almost completely due to the man they would have on the bump, JT Brubaker. During his first six starts on the season he had only allowed as many as three runs on one occasion, with two quality starts to his credit; and you may have noticed two losses on his record, but he always put the Pirates in a position to win. In this most recent matchup with Cincinnati, it would be much of the same from Brubaker, only this time the offense would be there to support him.
On the night only two batters, Erik Gonzalez and Jacob Stallings, went hitless; obviously not counting the pitchers and pinch hitters. It was refreshing to see the Pirates string hits together, utilizing their speed on the base paths and getting a cherry on the top homer from Adam Frazier; his first on the season. On the night after it seemed like nothing could go right for Pittsburgh, it appeared like not a whole lot could go wrong in the Pirates 7-2 victory over the Reds.
Of course not everything went perfect as David Bednar did not make it through a full inning of work; allowing a run on two hits, while striking out one. Also, I honestly would have liked to see Derek Shelton allow Brubaker to come out for the seventh after totally only 81 pitches, with him in clear command of his stuff; especially the location of his four seamer. However, there was not much else to question, which clearly hasn’t been the case after the previous four games versus Cincinnati.
News and Notes:
- Congratulations are due to Troy Stokes Jr. on his first two MLB hits and RBIs. Not to mention that that he also plays a pretty strong right field. Unfortunately, it has to be noted that at some point Stokes Jr. may become a victim of the 40-man and 26-man roster crunches.
- Kevin Newman has looked better with his approach at the plate as of late, as evidenced by his well struck triple in the bottom of the fourth. Continue to keep those hands low Kevin.
- Phillip Evans had two really nice at bats, one for an RBI double, and two not so great ones. With every passing game, it is becoming more and more clear to me that Evans is strong utility option, but not an everyday starter.
- At one point Bryan Reynolds has reached base in seven straight plate appearances since his lower body soreness day off. The guy is just a really solid ball player.
- Richard Rodriguez was able to come in to finish off the Reds in not a real high pressure situation, after getting knocked around a little in his last appearance. He did allow a hit, but other than that it was a pretty clean outing.
The Pirates and Reds have a quick turnaround at PNC Park as the first pitch is scheduled for 12:35 PM Wednesday. Trevor Cahill (1-4, 6.75 ERA) is set to face off against Sonny Gray (0-2, 3.92 ERA) for the Reds in this early season rubber match between division rivals.