J.T. Brubaker didn’t have his best start and the offense was hardly going to make up for it, so the Pirates lost to St. Louis, 5-2. They’ve now lost 13 of 18 since edging above .500.
Things started off ominously when Brubaker followed the standard Pirate starter pattern of giving up a two-run gopher ball in the first, this one to Nolan Arenado. Two more scored in the second were just bad luck. Tommy Edman hit a two-out pop fly over third that looked catchable, although not easily, but it ticked off Erik Gonzalez’ glove. The Cards made it 5-0 in the third on a two-out double by Edmund Sosa.
Brubaker rebounded to allow just one runner over the fourth and fifth. He left after a two-out single in the sixth and Chasen Shreve fanned Dylan Carlson to end the inning. Chris Stratton followed with two scoreless innings.
The offense . . . well, I’m tired of searching for ways to describe futility. The simple fact is that this team can’t win until it jettisons about three-quarters of its current position players. They just aren’t major league players.
A case in point is Michael Perez, who made the game’s last out to finish an 0-for-4 day. He’s now on an 0-for-23 tear and is batting .091. He’s whiffed in 41% of his at-bats.
Anyway, apart from the sixth inning, the Pirates managed to get a runner to second exactly twice — with two out in the third and two out in the ninth. They got their runs in the sixth after a double and walk to start the inning. Will Craig lined a ball off Cards’ starter John Gant, which finished him although the runner was forced at third. The Pirates then managed two runs on a wild pitch, a ground out and an infield hit.
For the game, the Pirates had a double and five singles. The latter included three ground balls and the infield hit. Kevin Newman and Gregory Polanco each had two hits.