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Pirates Preview: Bucs Face Tough Test in Stroman



Johan Oviedo, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates (34-32) suffered their second straight loss to the Chicago Cubs (30-37) after their bullpen imploded in the sixth inning.

Osvaldo Bido actually put forth a good effort for the Pirates despite going just four innings.

Bido struck out six and allowed just one earned run against the Cubs, and for his MLB debut, I’d say it’s hard to ask anything more from the righty.

Roansy Contreras came in, and after pitching one good inning, Contreras had everything blow up in his face in the sixth inning and allowed five earned runs.

When the dust settled, the Pirates fell to the Cubs 10-6 after leading 5-1 at one point in the game.

The first pitch at Wrigley Field is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET. Thursday’s game will be aired on AT&T Sportsnet and the Pirates radio network, 93.7 The Fan.


It will be a very chilly day in the windy city, as temperatures are expected to be 60 degrees at first pitch. The good news is it will be sunny with high northeast winds between 15-17 mph throughout the contest.

The Pirates will send out RHP Johan Oviedo (3-5, 4.16 ERA)

Oveido suffered a tough loss against the New York Mets in his last start despite going 6.1 innings while giving up four hits, two earned runs, two walks, and five strikeouts.

In his last two starts combined, Oviedo has pitched 13.1 innings while giving up eight hits, four earned runs, four walks, and struck out ten.

Oviedo’s slider has been his best pitch by far this year, with an opposing average of .191 with a whiff% of 30.4%. His four-seam, however, has been his kryptonite with an opposing average of .326 and an average exit velocity of 89.8 mph.

Oviedo has faced the Cubs seven times (six starts) and holds a 1-2 record with an ERA of 3.86 in 32.2 innings pitched.

The Cubs will send out RHP Marcus Stroman (7-4, 2.42 ERA)

Stroman has emerged as the Cubs’ best pitcher so far in 2023, and his last three starts are prime examples.

From May 29-June 9, Stroman has pitched a combined 21.2 innings while giving up 11 hits, two earned runs, eight walks, and struck out 19.

In one of those three starts, Stroman pitched a complete game shutout while giving up just one hit against the Tampa Bay Rays (the best team in baseball).

Stroman technically offers a six-pitch mix, but will stick mainly with his sinker (44.4%) and slurve (23.2%). In addition, Stroman offers a cutter (11.1%),  four-seam (8.5%), splitter (6.9%), and a slider (5.8%).

Stroman has faced the Pirates five times (four starts) and holds an 0-3 record with an ERA of 3.52 in 23 innings pitched.

Cubs Hitters vs. Oviedo

  • Patrick Wisdom: 1-11 with five strikeouts
  • Ian Happ: 4-10 with one double, one triple, and three walks

Pirates Hitters vs. Stroman

  • Bryan Reynolds: 5-7 with a double
  • Carlos Santana: 6-22 with four doubles
  • Andrew McCutchen: 3-15 with a double.


  • Going into Wednesday’s game, the Pirates were 22-8 when scoring first. With McCutchen’s leadoff homer, and the Pirates losing 10-6, the Pirates are now 22-9 when scoring first.
  • In addition, with the Pirates scoring six runs, their record now dropped to 27-6 when scoring 4+ runs in a game.
  • With the Milwaukee Brewers losing 4-2 to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, the Pirates remain in first place in the N.L. Central by a full game. Cincinnati, however, has moved to 1.5 games back after their fifth straight win Wednesday night.


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