Game Recap: Brubaker Struggles Early in Loss to Cards

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.