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Pirates Preview: What Can We Expect for Act II?

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Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates (39-42) sent the fans home happy on Friday night, after a huge comeback win against the Milwaukee Brewers (43-39) in walk-off fashion.

The Pirates were down 4-0 to start the game and then scratched their way back to within one run in the fourth inning after an Andrew McCutchen solo shot and a Nick Gonzales two-run double.

The bullpen fell apart, and then the Pirates’ offense chipped away in the seventh and eighth to pull within two going into the ninth.

A leadoff single from Ji-Hwan Bae and an RBI double from McCutchen set up a two-out at-bat with Carlos Santana coming to the plate.

Santana belts a walk-off homer into the night sky, and the Pirates beat the Brewers 8-7.

Game two between the Pirates and Brewers will be at PNC Park, with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to the game on 93.7 The Fan

Weather

Thunderstorms are supposed to be starting around 2 p.m. and are scheduled to roll all day on Saturday. Things may change as the day goes on, but as of now, it doesn’t look good.

The Pirates will send out RHP Johan Oviedo (3-8, 4.06 ERA)

The tall Cuban native hurled a terrific game his last time out on June 25 against the Miami Marlins but suffered the loss.

Oviedo against the Marlins pitched seven full innings while giving up six hits, one earned run, no walks, and six strikeouts in a 1-0 loss.

In his last two starts combined, Oviedo has allowed just three earned runs in 13 innings of work, while walking none. Oviedo’s control has improved immensely.

Oviedo has faced the Brewers four times (one start) and holds a 1-1 record with an ERA of 3.21 in 14 innings pitched.

The Brewers will send out RHP Corbin Burnes (5-5, 4.10 ERA)

Burnes has struggled in his last few starts for the Brewers. In his last two starts combined, Burens has allowed 11 earned runs in 10.2 innings pitched.

On June 25, Burnes faced the Cleveland Guardians and went 5.2 innings while giving up eight hits, four earned runs, two walks, and struck out three.

Burnes offers a five-pitch mix with a cutter (53.7%), curveball (17.2%), changeup (12.7%), sinker (9.2%), and a slider (7.2%). Burnes’ cutter averages 94.3 mph and has an opposing average of .240.

Burnes’ money pitch this year has been his curveball, with an opposing average of .132 and a whiff% of 41.9. When opponents do make contact, it averages 85.3 mph in exit velocity.

Burnes has faced the Pirates 20 times (eight starts) and holds a 6-1 record with an ERA of 3.45 in 62.2 innings pitched.

Brewers Hitters vs. Oviedo

  • Luis Urias: 0-6 with two strikeouts

Pirates Hitters vs. Burnes

  • Bryan Reynolds: 5-21 with a double, two walks, and seven strikeouts
  • Carlos Santan: 0-5

Tidbits

  • McCutchen has now reached base safely in 19-straight games, dating back to June 5. This is the ninth-longest streak of his career and the longest since April 18-May 14, 2018, when he reached safely in 24-straight.
  • With his two-RBI double in the fourth inning, Nick Gonzales has hit for the cycle (kind of). Gonzales’ first four career hits have been a single, double, homer, and triple, joining Ke’bryan Hayes, who did this in 2018.
  • In addition, Gonzales is the second rookie to do this in 2023, joining Elly De La Cruz of Cincinnati.
  • Carmen Mlodzinski also earned his first major league win on Friday night after pitching two scoreless frames to keep the Pirates in the game

Links

Pittsburgh Pirates Activate Colin Holderman, Option Cody Bolton to Triple-A

Perrotto: Roansy Contreras Appears to be Trending Upward (+)

Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Derek Shelton Emotional Over Getting Chance to Coach With Mentor

Backstop Conundrum: Why Henry Davis Isn’t Seeing Time at Catcher

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