PITTSBURGH — The rebuilding Pittsburgh Pirates are hoping to see better days but those days have yet to come to fruition.
The Pirates fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 8-1 on Sunday at PNC Park. It marked the first four-game sweep of the Pirates for the Phillies in Pittsburgh since 1968 at Forbes Field.
The Pirates’ offense continued to be inept. If it wasn’t for Cal Mitchell registering yet another RBI and Kevin Newman getting three hits, the offense was dead, and if you ask the 19,322 onlookers, they would probably tell you the same thing.
Pirates starter JT Brubaker got the game’s first two batters on swinging strikeouts. Brubaker then allowed four straight hits, including an RBI double from J.T. Realmuto and an RBI single from Nick Castellanos. Thankfully for Brubaker, Didi Gregorius hit a comebacker, and the Pirates escaped the inning down only 2-0.
Mitchell put the Pirates on the board in the third inning. After a two-out Newman double to left-center, Mitchell hit a double of his own into right field. That helped cut the deficit to 2-1.
Kyle Schwarber played the villain again for the Pirates — much as he has throughout his career — with a solo shot in the fifth inning that went 411 feet with an exit velocity of 111.6 mph. That homer was Schwarber’s 33rd homer on the season, and put the Phillies back on top by two runs at 3-1. To add salt to the Pirates’ wounds, Castellanos and Bryson Stott registered RBI singles to extend the Phillies’ lead to 5-1.
According to Sarah Langs of MLB.com. Schwarber’s home run was tied for the 10th longest opposite-field home run (441 foot) since Statcast was implemented in 2015.
Brubaker was knocked out of the game after the Stott single and relieved by Dillon Peters.
Games like these happen, and for Brubaker, that shouldn’t take away from his outstanding month of July. Unfortunately for Brubaker, his ERA got bumped back into the fours after giving up five earned runs.
Brubaker’s final line read 4.1 innings pitched, 12 hits, and seven earned runs on 78 pitches (56 strikes).
When the dust settled in the fifth inning, the Phillies had added two more runs on RBI singles by Matt Vierling and Odubel Herrera that stretched the lead to 7-1.
Alec Bohm was a whole different animal, going 4-4 in his first four at-bats and hitting a bomb to left field in the sixth inning, making this game even more of a laugher.
The Pirates managed one more run on a Yoshi Tsutsugo RBI single.
The Pirates have Monday to collect their thoughts before facing the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series. Bryse Wilson is expected to get the start for the Pirates against Corbin Burnes. The first pitch is 7:05 p.m.