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Pirates Preview: Keller’s First Start Since All-Star Selection

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Pittsburgh Pirates-Mitch Keller

The Pittsburgh Pirates (39-44) dropped the series against the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday afternoon, and now travel to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers (46-37) for a four-game set.

Rich Hill suffered the loss in the Pirates’ 6-3 loss on Sunday, despite giving up just one three-run homer.

The Pirates made some mental miscues at crucial points in the game, including a throwing error from LHP Ryan Borucki in the eighth inning, allowing two runs to score.

If it weren’t for that error, the Pirates would’ve tied it in the bottom of the eighth after a Palacios RBI double.

Game one between the Pirates and Dodgers will be at Dodger Stadium, with first pitch at 10:10 Eastern. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to the game on 93.7 The Fan.

Weather

There shouldn’t be a cloud in the sky for game one in Los Angeles. Temperatures are supposed to range from 66-72 degrees with a slight wind of four mph blowing southwest.

The Pirates will send out RHP Mitch Keller (9-3, 3.34 ERA)

Keller has put together a tremendous season, and as a result, he will represent the Pirates in the All-Star game.

Over his last two starts, Keller has solidified that All-Star selection, with a combined 13 innings pitched, nine hits, two earned runs, two walks, and ten strikeouts.

In his last start on June 28, Keller earned the win against the Padres after going six innings while giving up only one earned run on four hits.

Keller has faced the Dodgers three times (three starts) and holds a 2-1 record with an ERA of 5.27 in 13.2 innings pitched.

The Dodgers are supposed to send out RHP Clayton Kershaw  (10-4, 2.55 ERA)

It is unclear if Kershaw will pitch on Monday, but reports indicate that Kershaw might pitch, despite his shoulder issue.

Kershaw last pitched on June 27 against the Colorado Rockies and pitched a six-inning shutout while allowing just one hit, one walk, and striking out two.

Kershaw, over his last two starts, hasn’t allowed a run, in fact, he has pitched 16 straight innings without giving up a run. The last time Kershaw has given up a run was on June 14 against the Chicago White Sox in the third inning.

Kershaw offers a three-pitch mix with a slider (44.3%), four-seam (37.3%), and a curveball (17.8%). In addition, Kershaw’s four-seam averages 91.2 mph.

Kershaw has faced the Pirates 13 times (13 starts) and holds a 4-3 with an ERA of 3.00 ERA in 81 innings pitched. In addition, seven of those 13 starts were at PNC Park.

Dodgers Hitters vs. Keller

  • Freddie Freeman: 4-6 with two walks
  • Miguel Rojas: 0-6 with two strikeouts

Pirates Hitters vs. Kershaw

  • Andrew McCutchen: 11-41 with three doubles, one homer, three walks, seven strikeouts
  • Austin Hedges: 1-20 with seven strikeouts
  • Carlos Santana: 0-5

Tidbits

  • With their series loss to the Brewers, the Pirates are now 5.5 games back of first place in the N.L. Central.
  • Nick Gonzales’ home run on Sunday was 414 ft and had an exit velocity of 103.5 mph off the bat.
  • In addition, both of Gonzales’ home runs have been to center field and have been for a combined 856 feet.

Links

Potanko: Nick Gonzales Hitting His Stride

Former Pittsburgh Pirate Mark Mathias Claimed Off Waivers

Pittsburgh Pirates GM Ben Cherington Gives Health Updates on Hayes, Choi

Pirates Send RHP Crowe on Rehab Assignment to Bradenton

Pittsburgh Pirates Activate Reynolds; Place Bae on 10-Day IL

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