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Pirates Preview: Can Contreras’ Slider Remain Effective Against Dodgers?

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Roansy Contreras

The Pittsburgh Pirates (16-8) are looking to shake off their 8-7 loss in game one to the Los Angeles Dodgers (13-11).

Tuesday night, the Pirates blew a 7-2 lead after the Dodgers chipped away and eventually hit a three-run shot in the eighth inning off Colin Holderman, which secured the Dodgers’ lead for good.

The Pirates threatened in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs, but McCutchen popped up a 3-1 pitch which was the nail in the Pirates’ coffin essentially.

First pitch at PNC is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet or listen to it on the Pirates radio network, 93.7 The Fan.

Weather

It will be a chilly but mostly sunny day in Pittsburgh. Temperatures will range from 52-59 degrees, and there will be a 5-8 mph wind blowing north/northwest throughout the game.

The Pirates will send out RHP Roansy Contreras (2-1, 4.57 ERA)

Contreras has strung together a nice run of starts in his last two appearances.

Over his last two starts, Contreras has pitched a combined 12.2 innings and has given up three earned runs, walked five and struck out 14.

In his last start on April 20 against the Cincinnati Reds, Contreras went 6.2 innings and induced all 14 of his whiffs on his slider, which he used 54% of the time.

If Contreras continues to use his slider effectively, we should start to see a turnaround on his four-seam, which currently sits at a 1.8% whiff rate; that’s not good.

Contreras has yet to face the Dodgers in his 119.2 career innings pitched in the big leagues.

The Dodgers will send out RHP Tony Gonsolin  (season debut).

Gonsolin in 2022 was a machine.

In 130 innings pitched in ’22, Gonsolin posted a 16-1 record with an ERA of 2.14 and held opposing batters to a slash line of .172/.273/.299 with an OPS of .536.

Gonsolin kept hard-hit balls to a minimum with an average exit velocity of 89 mph in ’22, and as a result, his xERA was at 3.12 for the year.

Gonsolin has faced the Pirates twice (two starts) and holds a 1-0 record with an ERA of 1.35 in 6.2 innings pitched.

Interesting Batting Match Ups

Dodgers Hitters

  • David Peralta: 0-3 with two Ks against Contreras

Pirates Hitters

  • Connor Joe: 0-4 against Gonsolin

Tidbits

  • Andrew McCutchen blasted his fifth homer of the year in the bottom of the fourth inning. McCutchen now has 292 home runs in his career and is eight away from 300
  • As a team, the Pirates now have 28 homers on the year which ties them for sixth in the National League with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers are way ahead in first place with 44.
  • With Ji-Hwan Bae’s two stolen bases and Tucupita Marcano’s one, the Pirates have 28 as a team. They are now one behind the Cleveland Guardians for MLB’s lead.

Links

BREAKING: Pittsburgh Pirates, Bryan Reynolds Agree on Eight-Year Extension

Perrotto: Bob Nutting Showing Refreshing Philosophy Change

Pittsburgh Pirates React to Bryan Reynolds Long-Term Extension

Uncharacteristic Miscues End in Unfortunate Loss For Pirates (+)

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