Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brault Rides Roller Coaster of Emotions on Way to Win

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brault Rides Roller Coaster of Emotions on Way to Win

Article excerpt

DETROIT - Steven Brault was warming up in the bullpen in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday when Nicholas Castellanos appeared to score on a close play at home, sealing a Detroit Tigers victory against the Pirates in the opening game of the season.

So Brault and Tyler Glasnow, the only pitchers remaining in the Pirates bullpen, packed up their things. Initially, Brault thought Castellanos was safe, and he was bummed that his 2018 debut would have to wait at least another day.

But then, looking up at the big screen at Comerica Park, Brault and Glasnow realized he might be out. Indeed, upon review, Castellanos was called out, and Brault, his things packed, started warming up again.

"I was excited, and then I was bummed, and then I was excited again," Brault said, summarizing his slice of a roller-coaster game.

Brault entered in the 11th and threw three scoreless innings, earning the win on opening day. The left-hander said he felt a bit off at first, starting his outing by walking James McCann and then throwing three balls to Mikie Mahtook. But then he got Mahtook to line out, retired the rest of the side, had a 1-2-3 12th, and stranded two in the 13th to secure the win. The personal highlight for Brault was getting Miguel Cabrera to swing and miss on a slider; Cabrera eventually grounded out.

In between the first and second innings he pitched, Brault spoke with catcher Francisco Cervelli. Brault hadn't thrown to Cervelli in spring training, and he wanted to tell him that he had worked on his changeup in the offseason, that it now was one of his primary pitches, and that Cervelli shouldn't be afraid to call it. After relying on fastballs and sliders in the 11th, Brault started to mix in his changeups, getting two outs with that pitch.

"Then we were on the same page," Brault said. "That was the most I've felt we've meshed, ever."

Oh, and about that controversial overturned call at home? …

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