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Pirates Preview: Keller Tries to Lead Bucs to Series Win Against Ex-Bucco Taillon

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Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates fell 1-0 in the ninth inning to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

After left-hander’s Bailey Falter and Shota Imanaga pitched brilliantly in their starts, the Cubs (26-21) beat the Pirates (21-26) on Christopher Morel’s controversial walk-off base hit.

The Pirates will look to put a tough loss behind them as they attempt to win the four-game series on Sunday afternoon in the Windy City.

The game will begin at 2:20 ET and will be broadcast on SportsNet Pittsburgh.

Weather

Another great afternoon to play some baseball with sunshine and temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. Winds NNE at 10 mph.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out RHP Mitch Keller (4-3, 3.93 ERA)

Keller followed up a complete game against the Angels on May 6 by throwing six shutout-innings against the Brewers at PNC Park on Monday.

By allowing one run over his last 15 innings pitched, Keller has lowered his season ERA from 5.18 to where it currently sits.

Keller has made 11 appearances/10 starts against the Cubs in his career and has gone 4-4 with a 4.99 ERA. In five appearances at Wrigley Field, Keller possesses a 5.85 ERA.

The Chicago Cubs Will Send Out RHP Jameson Taillon (3-1, 1.61 ERA)

It’s been an excellent start to the season for Taillon since he’s returned from the injured list.

Taillon’s tenure with the Cubs got off to a poor start last season, when the right-hander finished the year 8-10 with a 4.84 ERA in 30 appearances/29 starts.

Taillon has held opponents to a .215 batting average and a .622 OPS, the best marks of his career.

This will be Taillon’s third time facing his former team. In two previous meetings, he’s gone 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA.

Cubs Hitters vs. Keller

  • Ian Happ: 9 for 22, two doubles, three home runs, seven RBIs, five walks, five strikeouts
  • Mike Tauchman: 1 for 9, one walk, one strikeout
  • Cody Bellinger: 3 for 8, two doubles, two strikeouts
  • Yan Gomes: 1 for 8, three strikeouts
  • Seiya Suzuki: 4 for 7, one double, one RBI
  • Nico Hoerner: 1 for 7, one double, one RBI, two walks, one strikeout
  • Christopher Morel: 2 for 5, one double, one home run, three RBIs, one walk
  • Miles Mastrobuoni: 2 for 3, one double
  • Nick Madrigal: 1 for 3
  • Patrick Wisdom: 0 for 3, two strikeouts

Pirates Hitters vs. Taillon

  • Michael A. Taylor: 1 for 15, one walk, six strikeouts
  • Yasmani Grandal: 1 for 12, one RBI, one walk, three strikeouts
  • Rowdy Tellez: 1 for 9, one RBI, one walk, one strikeout
  • Bryan Reynolds: 2 for 6, one double, one strikeout
  • Jack Suwinski: 4 for 5, three home runs, four RBIs, one walk
  • Andrew McCutchen: 0 for 4, one RBI, three strikeouts

Tidbits

  • Falter’s 7.2 innings on Saturday marked a career-high. He had worked into the eighth inning once in his career (earlier this season) but failed to record an out.
  • Pirates started have gone 14.2 straight innings without allowing a run, dating back to the sixth inning in Jared Jones’ start on Thursday.
  • Keller has 10 career wins in May, four more than he has in any other month. He also has a 4.08 ERA, which is his second-lowest of any month behind a 3.82 ERA in Sept./Oct.

Links

The Other Side: How Elias Diaz Went From DFA to All-Star Game MVP

Pirates Prospect Watch: Matt Gorski Flirts With Cycle

Pirates Fall to Cubs on Contreversial Call in 9th After Epic Pitchers’ Duel

Pirates Prospect Profile: Alessandro Ercolani Finds Home Away From Home in Baseball

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