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Pirates Preview: Can Mitch Keller Build off His Previous Outing?

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Mitch Keller

The Pittsburgh Pirates (6-4) will play game two against the defending World Series champions, the Houston Astros (5-6).

The Pirates had a rough go of things in game one against the Astros as they fell 8-2 after starter, Roansy Contreras couldn’t get things going.

Contreras allowed seven earned runs in just 3.1 innings pitched while allowing nine hits, walking four, and striking out just three batters.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. You can watch all the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to it on the Pirates radio network, 93.7 The Fan.

Weather

The weather at first pitch is forecasted to be a partly cloudy day with temperatures around 70 degrees. Winds will be around 13 mph and blow west.

The Pirates will send out RHP Mitch Keller

Keller looked un-hittable in his second start of the year against the Red Sox on April 5 at Fenway Park. Keller went seven strong innings and gave up one earned run on four hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts.

Keller had his stuff working for him that night, inducing a 58% groundball rate and keeping the ball out of the air all night. One of the best signs of the night was the fact that Keller kept the hard-hit rate down with an average EV of 82.1.

Keller used all of his pitches fairly evenly against the Red Sox with his four-seam (21% usage), cutter (21% usage), and curveball (21% usage). Keller also used his sinker (17% usage), sweeper (13% usage), and changeup (7% usage).

Keller virtually has a pitch for every situation now, and he’s using all of them rather well.

Keller has never faced the Astros.

The Astros will send out, righty Cristian Javier.

Javier pitched a really solid game for the Astros on April 5. against the Detroit Tigers. Javier pitched six innings and gave up just one run on five hits, no walks, and five strikeouts.

Javier will stick mainly to his four-seam/slider combination, with his four-seam averaging around 93 mph, and his slider around 79 mph. Javier also offers a knuckle curve and changeup on occasion.

In his last start against the Tigers, Javier limited hard-hit balls with an average EV of 85.2 mph on the four-seam and 79.5 mph on his slider.

There were a total of 18 balls in play for Javier, and he averaged 84.2 mph on the overall EV.

Javier has never faced the Pirates

Interesting Batting Match Ups

Ji-Man Choi is 0-5 with 3 Ks against Javier

Mauricio Dubon is 3-5 with one double against Keller

Tidbits

  • In one of the only bright spots of Monday’s game, Ji-Man Choi blasted his first home run as a Pirate. Choi’s homer was his first homer against a lefty since July 26, 2020, and his fifth ever homer against a lefty.
  • Reynolds N.L. Player of the Week included him going 12-25 (.480) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, and seven RBIs.
  • Pirates prospect, Tucupita Marcano was named the International League Player of the Week. Marcano went 10-19 (.526) with five doubles, a triple, a homer, and seven RBIs.

Links

Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Jared Jones Developing Potential Third Weapon (+)

Bryan Reynolds Named N.L. Player of the Week

Pittsburgh Pirates Recall Mark Mathias; Place Cruz on 10-Day IL

Oneil Cruz Could Return from Broken Ankle by August

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