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Pirates Preview: Bucs and Keller Need to Take a Stand

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Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates (34-34) have lost four straight games after a brutal loss to the Milwaukee Brewers (35-34) by a score of 5-4 Friday night.

The Pirates started off on a bad foot in the first inning after Rich Hill allowed three runs to score after walking four that inning, and eventually, Hill allowed four total runs to score (three earned)

The Pirates’ offense chipped away at the Brewers’ lead and eventually had runners on second and third with one out in the top of the ninth and couldn’t score any runs against closer, Devin Williams.

Carmen Mlodzinski made his major league debut and gave up a solo homer in his first inning of work, but pumped his four-seam up to 97 mph.

The first pitch at American Family Field is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET. Saturday’s game will be aired on AT&T Sportsnet and will be aired on the Pirates radio network 93.7 The Fan.

Weather

American Family Field is a dome, so no worries about the weather; this series

The Pirates will send out RHP Mitch Keller (8-2, 3.41 ERA)

Keller seemed to be on a downhill trend before his last start on June 11 against the New York Mets.

Keller pitched seven innings while giving up just two hits, one earned run, two walks, and struck out seven batters on 106 pitches (61 strikes).

One of the big factors in Keller’s success was using his cutter effectively to lefties while getting a 32% CSW%, and allowing just four balls in play averaging 78.3 mph in exit velocity.

One of the good trends for Keller’s case is what his sinker produced against the Mets. Out of 23 sinkers thrown, Keller allowed seven balls put into play, and they averaged just 88.8 mph with a max EV of 98.6 mph.

Keller has faced the Brewers four times (four starts) and holds an 0-2 record with an ERA of 3.98 in 20.1 innings pitched.

The Brewers will send out LHP Wade Miley (3-2, 3.67 ERA)

Miley has been working on a rehab assignment for the Brewers after being placed on the 15-day IL with a left-lat strain on May 17. Wiley was placed on his rehab assignment on June 11.

Miley made one appearance for Milwaukee’s Double-A squad and pitched five scoreless innings while giving up four hits.

Miley’s last start for Milwaukee ended early after going just 1.2 on May 16 against the St. Louis Cardinals while giving up one hit, one earned run, one walk, and struck out none.

Miley offers mainly a three-pitch mix with a cutter (39.5%), four-seam (26%), and a changeup (23.6%). In addition, Miley has been known to throw a slider (8.1%), a curveball (2.2%), and a sinker (0.6%) on occasion.

Miley has faced the Pirates 15 times (15 starts) and holds a 5-5 record with an ERA of 3.27 in 82.2 innings.

Brewers Hitters vs. Keller

  • Jesse Winker: 4-8 with a double
  • Willy Adames: 4-12 with a double, homer, and three strikeouts
  • Christian Yelich: 1-8 with three strikeouts

Pirates Hitters vs. Miley

  • Carlos Santana: 7-14 with a double, homer, and three walks
  • Rodolfo Castro: 4-7 with a double
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 4-9
  • Bryan Reynolds: 2-12 with a double and four strikeouts
  • Andrew McCutchen: 4-22 with a double and six walks

Tidbits

  • The Pirates have now lost possession of first place in the N.L. Central after their loss to the Brewers on Friday night and are now tied with the Cincinnati Reds, who have won six in a row.
  • Out of his 16 starts in Milwaukee, Miley holds a 4.16 ERA in 75.2 innings pitched in his career.
  • Half of Keller’s starts against the Brewers have been in Milwaukee. In 11.1 innings pitched, Keller holds an 0-1 record with an ERA of 2.38.

Links

Perrotto: Roansy Contreras Needs Pulled From The Fire

Pittsburgh Pirates Select Carmen Mlodzinski; Place Rob Zastryzny on IL

Potanko: Keller’s Cutter Big Reason for Success

Pittsburgh Pirates Place Colin Holderman on IL; Recall Yerry De Los Santos

Perrotto: Old Regime Deserves a Little Credit for Pittsburgh Pirates Success

Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch: Termarr Johnson Homers, Reaches Base Six Times

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