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Pirates Preview: Bucs Have Dug Themselves Difficult Hole



Pittsburgh Pirates, Johan Oviedo

The Pittsburgh Pirates (26-27) are a mess right now, and no game typified that more than their 14-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants (28-26) Monday evening.

Rich Hill underperformed, the Pirates’ defense was lackluster, and the offense didn’t provide anything in significant moments of the game.

With this month going the way it has, it’s seeming more and more likely that April was just a flash in the pan, and the Pirates are just not ready for showtime quite yet. Granted, they are better than in previous years, but they are not good enough.

The first pitch at Oracle Park is scheduled for 9:45 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.


It’s expected to be a chilly and windy day by the bay. Temperatures will range from 55-59 degrees, and the skies will be partly cloudy. Swirling winds of 13-15 mph will be present and blow southwest.

The Pirates will send out RHP Johan Oviedo (3-4, 4.70 ERA)

Oviedo wasn’t awful in his last start on May 24 against the Texas Rangers, but he still got tagged with the loss. In 5.2 innings, Oviedo gave up six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out five.

What hurt Oviedo was his first-inning woes, as he gave up all three earned runs in the first.

For his career, Oviedo has an ERA of 7.25 in his first inning of work. An opener might do him some good in the future, but with the bullpen situation right now, it’s not exactly possible.

Oviedo is going to need to figure something out with his pitching repertoire, if he wants to be a starter, he can’t continuously lean on his slider as his main pitch, as was the case again in his last start with a 45% usage rate.

Oviedo has faced the Giants once (one start) and holds an 0-1 record with an ERA of 4.50 in four innings pitched.

The Giants will send out RHP John Brebbia (2-0, 3.68 ERA)

Brebbia hasn’t been used much as a starter this year, with just three starts as compared to 20 appearances on the year. Brebbia’s last start came on May 22 against the Minnesota Twins, where he pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts.

Brebbia will most likely be used as an opener for the Giants, as he hasn’t gone more than two innings yet this year.

In his last appearance, Brebbia pitched two full innings on May 25 while giving up two hits, no earned runs, no walks, and struck out one on 28 pitches (20 strikes).

Brebia offers a two-pitch mix with a slider (54.8%) and a four-seam (44.7%). His four-seam averages 94.5 mph and has a whiff rate of 35.7%.

Brebbia has faced the Pirates 26 times (no starts) and holds a 2-1 record with an ERA of 4.13 in 28.1 innings pitched.

Giants Hitters

  • Mike Yastrzemski: 1-2 with a double and a walk against Oviedo

Pirates Hitters

  • Andrew McCutchen: 3-8
  • Bryan Reynolds 2-5, 1 HR
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes 0-2, 2 K


  • During Monday night’s game, Jack Suwinski hit two solo homers into the bay. He is the third Pirates player to ever do it. The last was Garrett Jones in 2013.
  • In addition, the other Pirates player to do it was Adam LaRoche in 2007, off of Tim Lincecum. Jack Suwinski joins 58 other visiting players to accomplish this feat.
  • Since Milwaukee didn’t play on Monday, the Pirates moved just a 0.5 game back in the standings. They now sit two full games back of the Brewers.


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