Brault Reflects on Facing His Hometown Team

San Diego native Steven Brault talks about pitching against the team he grew up cheering for.

Noah Hiles
May 20, 2018 - 3:35 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – This past weekend, two of the members of the Pirates roster were able to experience the rare opportunity of getting to play their home town team they grew up cheering for. While Trevor Williams got the start on Sunday against the Padres in the final game of their four game series against Pittsburgh, Pirates lefty Steven Brault was able to face his favorite childhood team on Thursday when he made a relief appearance in the fifth inning. 

“It’s one of those things you think that you’re never going to be able to do it,” said Brault. “So now, being up here, playing against them and seeing the other team wearing a Padres uniform is really cool. It’s one of the experiences I was really hoping to get and its another one checked off the list.”

The young lefty continued saying how he had many friends send him texts after the game letting him know they saw him playing on television back in his home town. Brault said though he enjoyed pitching against the Padres in PNC Park on Thursday, he is very excited for when the club travels to the west coast later in the season so he can face them close to where he grew up.

Brault, who attended Grossmont High School in El Cajon, which is only 20 minutes east of the Padres home stadium, Petco Park, came into the game to deliver one of his best relief performances of the season, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings while allowing three hits and striking out three batters. For Brault though, while he has had better outings on the mound in his short career in the big leagues, his outing on Thursday was certainly a special one.

“I think any time you get a scoreless outing it’s pretty even but since it was against the Padres it is a bit more meaningful,” said Brault. “I like that coming in during the middle of an inning with one out and a guy on second, we were able to get out of it without them scoring. It feels good to be able to help out my starter and help the team stay in the game.”

In addition to having a solid day on the mound, Brault also performed at the plate, hitting a double into left-center field after manager Clint Hurdle decided to let him stay in the game for an at bat. When Brault was asked how he felt about the confidence his manager has in him as a hitter to allow him to bat and stay in the game for another inning, Brault said,  “I like to think that I’ve earned that. When I first came up obviously I didn’t have that. I think that I’ve showed Clint that I can get it done in the box when we need it. I have a lot of fun with it; I love hitting. It is something that I have missed doing because I am a pitcher so if at some point we ever need an extra bat, I am ready to go.”

The “ready to go” mentality has served Brault well this season, where he has been switched back and forth between the roles of starter and reliever multiple times. After being moved back into his original role of a long reliever earlier in the month, Brault has seemly settled in with comfort, striking out 13 batters and only allowing two earned runs in 7.2 innings of work out of the bullpen in all of May.

“Mostly I have just gone back to letting my arm be free and do what it wants to do; not necessarily having the same delivery or the same arm angle, just kind of doing whatever,” said Brault. “That’s always worked for me the best and I just want to keep doing that and not over think things.”