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Pirates Preview: Have the Bats Saved Some Juice For Castillo?

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Andrew McCutchen- Bryan Reynolds

The Pittsburgh Pirates (26-24) and their bats showed up in game one against George Kirby and the Seattle Mariners (25-25) in Seattle.

The Pirates have had a good run of games against team’s top pitchers as of late, and Kirby was no exception, with the bats hammering four homers off of the righty.

When the dust was settled, the Pirates smashed seven homers on Friday night and cruised to an 11-6 victory over the Mariners, which gave Mitch Keller his sixth win on the season.

First pitch at T-Mobile Park is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to the game on the Pirates radio station, 93.7 The Fan.

Weather

T-Mobile Park has a retractable roof, so no worries about the weather this series.

The Pirates will send out RHP Ronasy Contreras (3-4, 4.50 ERA)

Contreras has been on the struggle bus all season and is looking to get off at the next stop.

In his last appearance on May 21 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he pitched five innings with three hits, three earned runs, three walks, and three strikeouts.

Contreras’ control has been a big factor in his struggles, and a big indicator of that is his walk numbers, and his high pitch counts early in games.

In May, Contreras pitched in 22 innings and allowed 11 walks. That’s not what you call a recipe for success.

To date, the righty’s four-seam has had terrible numbers attached to it, with an opposing batting average of .394 and a minuscule whiff rate of just 7.4%.

Contreras has never faced the Mariners in his career.

The Mariners will send out RHP Luis Castillo (3-2, 2.97 ERA)

In two out of his last three starts, Castillo has struggled.

Combining his May 16 and May 10 starts, he has combined to go ten innings with 14 hits, eight earned runs, two walks, and struck out 15. Both of those starts resulted in a loss.

In his last start, however, Castillo pitched a gem on May 22 against the Oakland Athletics. The 30-year-old pitched six innings while giving up four hits, no earned runs, two walks, and struck out eight on 101 pitches.

Castillo offers a four-pitch mix with a four-seam (42.9%), sinker (20.5%), slider (19.5%), and a changeup (17.1%).

Castillo’s two main pitches have been hit hard on average, with his four-seam averaging 92.6 mph in exit velocity and his sinker averaging 92.8 mph.

Castillo has faced the Pirates 13 times (13 starts) and holds a 5-4 record with an ERA of 2.51 in 75.1 innings pitched.

Mariners Hitters

  • Kolten Wong: 1-2 with a homer against Contreras

Pirates Hitters

  • Connor Joe: 2-2 with a double and a walk against Castillo
  • Carlos Santana: 3-10 with a homer and five walks against Castillo
  • Andrew McCutchen: 1-11 with a double and five strikeouts against Castillo
  • Bryan Reynolds: 0-9 with a walk and three strikeouts against Castillo
  • Chris Owings: 0-7 with two strikeouts against Castillo

Tidbits

  • McCutchen’s leadoff homer on Friday night was his ninth as a Pirate, and now trails Barry Bonds (20), Al Martin (10), and Adam Fraizer (10) in franchise history.
  • With scoring five runs in the fifth inning on Friday, the Pirates have now scored 5+ runs in a single inning seven times and have done so twice this week (May 22 against the Texas Rangers).
  • The Pirates tied a franchise record with seven homers in one game with Bryan Reynolds (1), McCutchen (1), Jack Suwinski (2), Tucupita Marcano (1), Santana (1), and Ke’Bryan Hayes (1).
  • In addition, the other times the Pirates have hit seven homers in a game were on Aug. 20, 2003, Aug. 16, 1947, and June 6 1894.

Links

Perrotto: There’s an Art to Determining Major-League Promotions

Perrotto: Andrew McCutchen Taking One for The Team

Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch: Alvarez Leads Altoona’s 16-Run Outburst

Andrew McCutchen’s Leadoff Shot Sparks Pittsburgh Pirates 7-HR Barrage Against Mariners

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