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Pirates Preview: Contreras Looking to Take Rubber Match Against the Snakes

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Roansy Contreras

The Pittsburgh Pirates (24-21) will play in game three against the Arizona Diamondbacks (26-20), with a chance to take the series in the rubber match.

The Pirates dropped a 4-3 loss after the bullpen dropped the game in the late innings Saturday evening, despite Mitch Keller pitching another gem.

The Pirates got seven hits on Saturday, but only managed one hit with runners in scoring position, with Ke’Bryan Hayes’ three-run triple.

First pitch at PNC Park is scheduled for 1:35 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.

Weather

There should be sunny skies on Sunday for you Pirates fans. Expect temperatures to range from 71-74 degrees, with northwest winds going between 8-9 mph throughout the contest.

The Pirates will send out RHP Roansy Contreras (3-4, 4.40 ERA)

Although he got tagged with the loss in his last start on May 13 against the Baltimore Orioles, Contreras pitched a much better game than he has as of late.

Contreras pitched seven innings while giving up five hits, two earned runs, one walk, and just one K.

Contreras started to lean more on his four-seam against the Orioles with 56% usage. With the four-seam, Contreras only got three whiffs with it, with 12 called strikes.

Three whiffs don’t seem like much, but that is actually progress for Contreras. Although I’d like the average EV to be a tad down on the four-seam, it wasn’t terrible with 90.2 mph.

Contreras has faced the Diamondbacks once (one start) and has an 0-0 record with an ERA of 0.00 in 5.2 innings pitched.

The Diamondbacks will send out RHP Merrill Kelly (4-3, 2.92 ERA)

Kelly has been the pillar of consistency since April 11.

Since the 11th, Kelly has started in seven games, and in each game, he has gone six or more innings in each start. The most runs he’s given up in that run was four runs which happened twice (April 22, and May 10).

In his last start, Kelly picked up the win against the Oakland Athletics, where he pitched in seven innings while giving up four hits, two runs (one earned), one walk, and nine strikeouts.

Kelly has a six-pitch mix with a four-seam (26.9%), changeup (24.9%), cutter (17%), curveball (15.1%), sinker (10.5%), and a slider (5.7%).

Kelly has faced the Pirates three times (three starts) and holds a 2-0 record with an ERA of 3.71 in 17 innings pitched.

Diamondbacks Hitters

  • Ketel Marte: 2-3 against Contreras

Pirates Hitters

  • Jack Suwinski: 2-2 against Kelly
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 3-6 with a double against Kelly
  • Austin Hedges: 0-10 against Kelly
  • Bryan Reynolds: 0-6 against Kelly

Tidbits

  • Hayes’ three-run triple in the bottom of the third marked his second straight three RBI game, which happened to be the first time Hayes has done this in his career.
  • In addition, Hayes is the second Pirate in 2023 to have back-to-back three-RBI games. Miguel Andujar achieved this feat against the Nationals on April 29 during their doubleheader.
  • Keller has now gone five consecutive games with 8+ strikeouts and one or fewer walks, which marks the longest said streak by a Pirate since 1901.
  • In addition, the Pirate who held the team record before Keller was Joe Musgrove in 2020, who had three consecutive games with 8+ strikeouts and one or fewer walks.

Links

Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Derek Shelton Gives Updates on Velasquez, Underwood

Is Dylan Crews Still Right Player to Draft for Pittsburgh Pirates at No. 1?

Fleeting Nature of Game Nearly Got to Rob Zastryzny

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