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Johan Oviedo Details Down Night For the Pirates



Pittsburgh Pirates-Johan Oviedo

After allowing just two runs across 20 innings in his last three starts, Pirates’ right-hander Johan Oviedo came back to earth on Friday night, giving up six earned runs across five frames. 

Manager Derek Shelton said that Oviedo’s struggles came from difficulty locating his pitches. 

“I think the biggest thing was he just couldn’t command the ball to the other side of the plate today,” Shelton said. “We cannot give away free bases…it adds up.”

Oviedo’s streaky starts throughout his career can largely be categorized by his command. If he’s locating pitches properly, he’s a force on the mound. When he struggles to throw strikes, opposing teams can shell him. 

Although he only gave up two walks on Friday and threw more than 65 percent of his pitches for strikes, Oviedo said that letting the Reds get ahead in the count against him had much the same effect.

 “I wasn’t executing,” Oviedo said. “I was getting behind in counts in the first inning, and they took good swings on my pitches after that.”

He also hit three batters, but noted that that’s part of baseball: he doesn’t beat himself up for taking control of the zone with brushback pitches.

“The only things that I’m always gonna hate is gonna be the walks. Hit by pitches, I feel, is more a part of the game, trying to go in against a guy,” Oviedo said. “I feel bad for him, but it’s part of the game. I’d rather hit somebody than walk them.”

Snakebitten Start

Shelton noted that Oviedo’s ugly final line also came from simple bad luck. Reds’ infielder Elly De La Cruz hit a triple off a slider in the bottom of the zone. 

“I mean, De La Cruz didn’t hit a bad pitch [on his first inning triple], it’s just, this is a guy that’s big and has a lot of extension and got out and hooked it around,” Shelton said. “And then Steer didn’t hit a bad pitch either. It was a slider that was down and away.”

With that in mind, Johan Oviedo said he can move on to the next game.

“I feel like I prepared really good for this outing. I had a really good plan,” Oviedo said. “Things didn’t go the way I wanted to, but definitely, after tonight, everything is going to be over and I’m going to push forward.”

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