Tecumseh’s Brubaker loses pitchers duel in first start in Ohio

J.T. Brubaker interview (Sept. 16, 2020)

Tecumseh High School graduate J.T. Brubaker delivered one of the best performances of his rookie year in his home state Wednesday.

Making his seventh start for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Springfield native Brubaker gave up one earned run on five hits in five innings in a 1-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. It was the first big-league appearance in Ohio for Brubaker, the Pirates' sixth-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Akron.

Brubaker bounced back from his worst start of the season. He allowed seven earned runs in 5 1/3 innings Sept. 9 against the Chicago White Sox. His ERA climbed from 3.96 to 5.94 in that start. It stands at 4.79 after his performance against the Reds, though he took the loss and fell to 1-2.

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Brubaker says big-league debut means a lot

“It was important to make sure I stayed on the attack,” Brubaker said. “I felt the stuff the last outing was there. Just some mistake pitches."

Brubaker wanted to limit those mistake pitches this time and go right after batters. Although he pitched well, Reds starter Luis Castillo was better, striking out 10 and allowing three hits in seven scoreless innings

“It was very enjoyable just going out there trying to make sure I wasn’t that guy to give up that one run,” Brubaker said. “Unfortunately, I was, but just to see who was going to give up the run first was the enjoyable part of it. The battle between two starting pitchers is the best part of baseball. Everyone wants to see the long ball, but I think the pitchers duel is way more fun and enjoyable.”