Pirates Preview: Maybe a Road Trip Can Do Some Good
The Pittsburgh Pirates (21-17) head on the road to maybe clear their heads and shake off their awful home stand. Friday night, the Pirates will start a three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles (24-13).
The Pirates squandered away their lead in game three against the Colorado Rockies after a bad 4th inning from Rich Hill and a lack of offensive production with men on base.
As a result, the Pirates lost 4-3 and dropped two out of three to the Rockies.
First pitch at Camden Yards is scheduled for 7:05 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.
Expect mostly cloudy skies in Baltimore, with a temperature of around 81 degrees at first pitch. There will be a slight five mph wind blowing southeast.
The Pirates will send out RHP Johan Oviedo (2-3, 5.59ERA)
To say Oviedo has struggled recently would be putting it very lightly.
In his last three starts, Oviedo has given up 17 earned runs and has pitched in 12.2 innings combined. Whether or not this is just a hiccup in his process remains to be seen, but this is a major hiccup if so.
Early on, Oviedo’s slider was his most effective weapon, but that’s been figured out it would appear with an opposing batting average of .274.
As a result, Oviedo has resorted to his four-seam, and that pitch has gotten him into more trouble than it’s worth, with a batting average of .364.
One good sign is that his pitches aren’t getting hit hard for the most part, ranking in the 65th percentile in average exit velocity. On the year, opponents are hitting an average of 87.8 mph in exit velocity.
Oviedo has never faced the Orioles in his career.
The Orioles will send out RHP Kyle Bradish (1-1, 5.95 ERA).
In his last start on May 6, Bradish pitched five full innings against the Atlanta Braves, while giving up three earned runs, five hits, walked two, and struck out four on 86 pitches (57 strikes).
Looking at the advanced numbers for his last start, Bradish was lucky to give up just three runs.
His sinker (17% usage) had an average exit velocity of 104.3 mph, and his four-seam (22% usage) averaged 104.5 mph. His slider (36% usage) wasn’t far behind, with an average EV of 94.9 mph.
In addition, Bradish offers a changeup (15% usage), and a curveball (9% usage).
Bradish has never faced the Pirates in his career.
Interesting Batting Match Ups
- Adam Fraizer: 3-5 with a walk against Oviedo
- Austin Hedges: 0-2 against Bradish
- Tucupita Marcano, on Wednesday’s loss, registered his first career homer at PNC Park and his third overall for his career. The other two homers occurred in 2022 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
- Prior to his two innings pitched on Wednesday, Dauri Moreta pitched two innings in a game five other times. Wednesday’s clean outing marked his fifth time going two innings and giving up no earned runs.
- In addition, Moreta allowed no hits in his most recent outing, which would mark his third instance of doing so while going two full innings of relief.
- The last time the Pirates played Baltimore was Aug. 5-7, 2022. The Pirates lost that series two games to one despite having a run differential of +3.
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