Pittsburgh Pirates (34-39) have lost nine straight games against the N.L. Central, and the window for contending in 2023 is closing at a rapid rate.
Thursday night, the Pirates travel to Florida to face the Miami Marlins (42-33) for a four-game set before traveling back to Pittsburgh.
The Pirates’ offense has hit an extreme rut, with just nine runs scored in their last two series combined.
First pitch at loanDepot Park is scheduled for 6:40 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.
loanDepot Park is a dome, so no worries about the weather for a few days.
The Pirates will send out RHP Mitch Keller (8-3, 3.62 ERA)
Keller last pitched on June 17 against the Milwaukee Brewers, where things just didn’t come together as planned. Keller lasted five innings while giving up five hits, four earned runs, three walks, and struck out seven on 99 pitches (61 strikes).
Since June came around, Keller has had an issue with walking batters. In his three starts in June, Keller has walked nine batters, and has had control issues with his four-seam.
On his start on June 11, Keller seemed to have found control with all of his pitches, so maybe the June 17 start was a minor bump in the road, but this is a little alarming to see.
Keller has faced the Marlins four times (four starts) and holds a 1-0 record with an ERA of 3.24 in 16.2 innings pitched.
The Marlins will send out LHP Braxton Garrett (3-2, 3.88 ERA)
In his last seven starts, Garrett has pitched extremely well. In 38 combined innings, Garrett has allowed 25 hits, nine earned runs, eight walks, and struck out 49.
In his last start on June 17, Garrett faced the Washington Nationals and went six innings while giving up four hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out eight.
Garrett offers a six-pitch mix with a slider (28.1%), sinker (27.2%), cutter (18.1%), curveball (9.8%), changeup (9.8%), and a four-seam (6.9%).
Garrett’s best pitch by far is his slider, with a 45.7% whiff rate and an opposing average of .196. If the Pirates stand a chance, they will need to connect with his sinker, which has an opposing average of .289.
Garrett has faced the Pirates twice (two starts) and holds a 1-0 record with an ERA of 0.75 in 12 innings pitched.
Marlins Hitters vs. Keller
- Avisail Garcia: 2-8 with three strikeouts
Pirates Hitters vs. Garrett
- Andrew McCutchen: 3-6 with one homer, one walk, and two strikeouts
- Ke’Bryan Hayes: 2-4 with a triple and two walks
- The Pirates’ current losing streak has surpassed their longest losing streak in 2023. Their previous mark was six games in a row from May 2-13.
- Jack Suwinski has now gone hitless in his last eight games. Suwinski currently leads the Pirates in OPS with a .844.
- Garrett has given up a total of 207 hits on the season. Out of those 207 hits, 105 of them have been categorized as “line drives,” which would explain opponents’ hard hit rate at 46.7%.
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