AFL Recap: Brubaker Pitches Well; Keller Named Pitcher of the Week

The Glendale Desert Dogs came into Tuesday’s action with a 9-13 record, giving them eight games left in the fall season to make up a four-game deficit in the standings. Mitchell Tolman was the only Pirate in the starting lineup, while JT Brubaker came out of the bullpen. Glendale lost 6-1, with five of those runs being unearned.

Brubaker came into the day with a 3.86 ERA and ten strikeouts in 9.1 innings. He was called into Tuesday’s game very early, getting in during the first inning when Surprise scored four runs. Brubaker allowed singles to the first two batters he faced, before getting a strikeout to end the inning.

In the second, Brubaker retired the side in order by getting two strikeouts and a ground out. The third inning wasn’t much different with two ground outs and a strikeout. Brubaker retired each of the final seven batters he faced, four by strikeouts. He threw 33 pitches total, with 26 going for strikes. He now has a 3.09 ERA.

Mitch Tolman batted lead-off and played second base. He struck out in the bottom of the first after making a costly error in the top of the inning on a missed catch. Tolman struck out again in the third inning, then grounded out in the sixth. He was called out on strikes in the eighth inning, leaving him 0-for-4 on the day. He now has a .152 average through 13 games.

** Mitch Keller was named the AFL Pitcher of the Week for his great performance last week. He faced the minimum last Monday over five inning, giving up just one runner, which was erased on a caught stealing.

** Glendale has off tomorrow before resuming play on Thursday.

  • Pitching development amazes me. Not too long ago, I never would have thought that Brubaker had a future in the game. Now he seems to have value, even if it may be in trade.

    You just never know. That’s why you don’t give up on young arms easily.

    • Our pitchers Mitch Keller, Taylor Hearn, Brandon Waddell, and Brubaker have performed very well in the AFL; the hitting has been much less than expected.

      40 starts at AA by Brubaker and Waddell, but dedicated BP depth in the AFL. Could the Pirates be attempting to discontinue the expensive practice of signing RP’s on the FA market in favor of developing their own? Guys like Benoit, Bastardo, Hudson, etc. can have that effect on a GM.

      • I believe Watson, Wilson and Hughes were all starters converted to the pen in the upper levels. Those three worked out great. Wouldn’t mind seeing that again, especially with the starting pitcher depth they have.