Pirates Preview: Keller Looking to Solidify His Cy Young Case
The Pittsburgh Pirates (24-20) aim to take the series in game two against the Arizona Diamondbacks (25-20) after their 13-3 victory over the Snakes.
The Pirates cruised to victory after an amazing fourth inning, where they sent ten men to the plate and drove in seven runs. In addition, Bryan Reynolds came off of the home run drought after his three-run homer in the fifth inning.
The Pirates also got good pitching from Johan Oviedo, which was desperately needed after his run of bad starts as of late.
First pitch at PNC Park is scheduled for 4:05 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.
Rain is to be expected through 2 p.m., but it should clear up around first pitch. Temperatures should range 63-65 degrees, with winds ranging from 9-10 mph throughout the contest.
The Pirates will send out RHP Mitch Keller (5-1, 2.38 ERA)
Keller has been nothing short of miraculous throughout his 2023 season.
During his three starts in May, Keller has pitched a combined 21 innings, allowed 13 hits, one earned run, two walks, and struck out 29.
Over his last two starts, Keller has yet to give up an earned run and has gone 16 straight innings without giving up a run.
Keller has faced the Diamondbacks once (one start) and holds a record of 1-0 and an ERA of 5.06 in 5.1 innings pitched.
The Diamondbacks will send out RHP Brandon Pfaadt (0-1, 8.59 ERA)
Since having his contract selected on May 3 by the Diamondbacks, Pfaadt has had a hard time adjusting to major league hitters.
There was some progress shown in his last start against the San Francisco Giants on May 14. Pfaadt pitched five solid innings, gave up one hit, one earned run, three walks, and struck out a season-high five.
Pfaadt, in his short time in the majors, has showcased a four-seam (54.8%), sweeper (24.5%), changeup (14.2%), and a curveball (6.5%). Pfaadt’s four-seam averages around 93 mph and has an opposing average of .364.
The Pirates will have to stay away from his sweeper, as it has good numbers attached to it, with an opposing average of .105 with an average exit velocity of 86.7 mph.
Pfaadt has never faced the Pirates in his major league career.
- Evan Longoria: 2-5 with one walk, and one strikeout against Keller
- No current Pirate has faced Pfaadt
- With their seven-run fourth inning, the Pirates scored the most in a singular inning since Oct. 1, 2021, against the Cincinnati Reds, where they scored eight in the bottom of the eighth inning.
- In addition, those eight total runs scored against Zac Gallen on Friday, were the most he’s given up in 90 career starts.
- The Pirates had four players on Friday record three hits (Andrew McCutchen, Josh Palacios, Ji-Hwan Bae, and Ke’Bryan Hayes). This is the second instance this season where the Pirates recorded at least four players with three hits. The last time this happened occurred in the 1990 season.
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