Pittsburgh Pirates: JT Brubaker Pitches A Playoff Gem

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Altoona Curve won the first game of the Eastern Championship when Brandon Waddell had a really good start.  JT Brubaker backed up Waddel’;s start with a gem of his own.  Here is more on the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league affiliate’s game:

The Pittsburgh Pirates are far out of the playoff race, let alone a championship.  However, their Double-A affiliate, the Altoona Curve, are now up two games to zero against the Trenton Thunder.  The Thunder, of course, are the Double-A affiliate of the Yankees organization, an organization that is known as one of the best minor league systems in baseball.

The first game was started by Brandon Waddell who had a really strong start.  Waddell threw six strong innings and did not give up a single run.  The Curve won the game by a score of 2-1, a true pitchers duel.  Waddell’s performance would be hard to follow up.  Game two saw JT Brubaker head to the mound against the Thunder. He would face off against one of the New York Yankees top pitching prospects in Justus Sheffield.

Sheffield is a former first round pick by the Cleveland Indians.  He was traded to the Yankees in last summer’s Andrew Miller blockbuster. Meanwhile, Brubaker entered the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as an unheralded pitching prospect from the University of Akron.  The 2015 sixth round pick pitched exclusively in Double-A this year, making 24 starts and 26 total appearances.

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Brubaker’s Start

Last night the former Akron Zip had the best game of his professional career, in what was probably the biggest game of his career.  Brubaker went deep into the game throwing eight innings, which is even more impressive given averaged just over five innings a game this season.  In the start, the right hander struck out six and only walked one.  He did not give up an earned run, though he did have two unearned runs charged against him. Also, Brubaker threw 94 pitches with 68 being strikes.  Along with that solid strike to pitch ratio, he also induced 11 ground outs while getting four flyouts.

Brubaker was awarded the win as the Curve defeated the Thunder by a score of 4-2.  Sheffield suffered the loss.  The Curve are now just one win away from claiming the Eastern League Championship.