Tonight was an extremely typical Pirates vs Cardinals game. Good things happened for the Cards. Bad things happened to the Bucs. Such is life.
JT Brubaker pitched decently in his five innings. Although he allowed three earned runs, he struck out seven and walked zero. On the night, he tallied up 20 whiffs and had a called strike plus whiff rate of 31 percent. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates’ defense did not do him any favors.
Ka’ai Tom in particular struggled in his first start with the Pirates. While manning PNC Park’s spacious left field, Tom was unable to catch two Nolan Arenado “doubles” in the first three innings. Yes, the first double that dropped in front of Tom was a difficult play. He made a dive but was unable to make the catch on the sinking blooper. In the third inning though, Arenado hit a towering pop-up the should have been a routine play. Instead, the ball dropped in front of Tom due to a miscommunication with Kevin Newman.
The only other run Brubaker allowed came on a solo home run by Tyler O'Neill in the fourth inning. O'Neill had three hits on the night. The Cardinals led 3-1 after four innings.
Duane Underwood Jr. relieved Brubaker in the sixth inning and allowed a three-run pinch-hit home run to Matt Carpenter. After getting out in front of Carpenter 0-2, Underwood Jr. grooved a fastball right down the plate and Carpenter didn’t miss it. The Cardinals led 6-1 at that point.
As far as the offense goes, the Pirates missed many opportunities. John Gant was not great for the Cardinals. He walked five batters over five innings. Unfortunately, the Pirates could not take advantage. They only mustered up three hits and scored one run against him. On the night, the Pirates had four total hits. They were 1-8 with runners in scoring position.
In general, the Pirates did not play a clean game. Tom misplayed the popup mentioned earlier. He was also picked off on the bases after a Brubaker sac bunt. Adam Frazier had an error that cost the team a run. Erik Gonzalez was tagged out in the batter box after not running out a dribbler in front of the plate. There was sloppy play all around.
Tomorrow evening, Trevor Cahill gets the start and will face off against Jack Flaherty. The first pitch is at 6:35 pm.