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Pirates Preview: Can Rich Hill Keep Ball in Park at Coors Field?



Pittsburgh Pirates, Rich Hill

The Pittsburgh Pirates (9-7) finish their seven-game road trip with a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies (5-11).

The Pirates suffered a brutal heartbreak in extra innings against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday afternoon with a 5-4 loss after a Tommy Edman walk-off single.

Mitch Keller had to battle and got through six strong innings despite not having his best stuff. Keller went through six innings and gave up three earned runs.

First pitch at Coors Field is scheduled for 8:40 p.m. You can watch all of the action on AT&T Sportsnet, or listen to it on the Pirates radio network, 93.7 The Fan.


Expect clear skies Monday night and a temperature of around 68 degrees. There will be a slight wind of seven mph, and is expected to blow southwest.

The Pirates will send out LHP Rich Hill  (0-2, 7.20 ERA)

Hill didn’t look pretty in his last start, but on April 12 against the Houston Astros, we saw Hill’s best outing as a Pirate.

Hill battled through six innings, gave up five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and no strikeouts, on 95 pitches (62 strikes), and held the Astros to a .262 average.

Surprisingly, Hill threw a lot of cutters, and on 21 swings, there were only eight cutters put in play, and he kept the average exit velocity down to 86.3 mph.

Hill’s curveball, despite most of them either in the middle quadrants or higher, kept the exit velocity down for the most part as well, with the Astros averaging just 81.3 mph on four balls put into play.

Hill has faced the Rockies seven times (seven starts) and holds a 1-4 record with an ERA of 5.68 in 38 innings pitched.

The Rockies will send out fellow lefty, Kyle Freeland (2-0, 0.96 ERA).

Freeland has been absolute nails in his first three starts on the season.

In each of his first three starts, Freeland has pitched six innings or more and didn’t give up a single run until his last start on April 11, when he gave up two.

Freeland’s repertoire holds a sinker (36.8%), slider (29.8%), curveball (15.7%), four-seam (11.2%), and occasionally a changeup (6.6%).

Freeland’s slider and curveball have been two useful weapons, with his slider holding opponents to an xBA of .178, and his curveball with an xBA of .141.

Freeland has allowed a tad more hard contact than you’d like to see, with an average exit velocity of 90 mph in his three starts with an average launch angle of 19.6 degrees.

Freeland has faced the Pirates seven times (seven starts) and holds a 3-2 record with an ERA of 3.75 in 36 innings pitched.

Interesting Batting Match Ups

Colorado Hitters

  • Charlie Blackmon is 3-9 with two doubles and a homer against Hill
  • Elias Diaz is 0-5 against Hill

Pirates Hitters

  • Austin Hedges is 4-9 with a double against Freeland


  • Pirates starters have made it through six innings in their last six games, with Keller going six full on Sunday.
  • The Pirates and Rockies split last year’s season series, with each winning three games each.
  • In 29 plate appearances, Bryan Reynolds holds a slash line of .444/.483/.704 in Coors Field, with five extra-base hits and an OPS of 1.187


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