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Pirates Preview: Can Contreras Keep the Bucs Momentum Going?

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Roansy Contreras

The Pittsburgh Pirates (12-7), head home after a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, to face the Cincinnati Reds (7-11) for a four-game series.

The Pirates obliterated the Rockies in game three by a score of 14-3, after an early flurry in the first inning, where the Pirates batted around and scored five runs, and then scored four in the second inning.

Batters 3-9 each recorded at least one RBI, with Rodolfo Castro leading the way with four RBIs on two hits.

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

Weather

The weather in Pittsburgh is looking like ideal weather for baseball. Expect partly cloudy skies and a temperature of 82 degrees at first pitch. There will be a 12 mph wind blowing southwest as well.

The Pirates will send out RHP Roansy Contreras (1-1, 6.00 ERA)

Contreras had a much better performance in his last start on April 15 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The young righty went six full innings, gave up two earned runs on six hits, walked three, and struck out six on 87 pitches (55 for strikes).

Contreras has got to start missing bats with his four-seam if he plans on becoming a top pitcher in the majors. For yet another start, Contreras induced 18 swings on his four-seam and only got one whiff. The other results were seven balls put in play and ten foul balls.

His slider will be his money maker if he continues to use it as his primary pitch, as he did in St. Louis with a 41% usage rate on April 15.

Contreras got eight whiffs out of 11 total from his slider that night and allowed just five out of 18 swings to be put into play with an average exit velocity of 84.9 mph.

Contreras has faced the Reds three times (three starts) and holds a 1-0 record with a 2.57 ERA.

The Reds will send out RHP Luke Weaver (season debut).

There isn’t a huge sample size to go over for Weaver in 2022, but what we do have is he pitched in 35.2 innings and had an ERA of 6.56.

Weaver showcased a four-seam (59.6%), changeup (25.9%) for the most part, but he also flashed a slider (9.7%), curveball (2.9%), cutter (1.1%), and a sinker (0.7%) in 2022.

Weaver’s four-seam got hit hard in 2022 with an opposing batting average of .322 and an average exit velocity of 94.4 mph. Weaver’s four-seam averaged out to be around 95 mph.

Weaver did a good job limiting homers to just one in 2022 and has done so over his seven-year career in the majors. Weaver’s biggest issue has been the BB/9, hovering around the “average”, to “poor” categories. Can the Pirates stay patient?

Weaver has faced the Pirates nine times (six starts) and holds a 2-2 record with an ERA of 3.75.

Interesting Batting Match Ups

Reds Hitters

  • Jonathan India is 2-7 with a double against Contreras

Pirates Hitters

  • Carlos Santana is 2-6 with two homers against Weaver
  • Austin Hedges is 1-8 with three Ks against Weaver
  • Andrew McCutchen is 0-5 against Weaver

Tidbits

  • The Pirates scored a total of 33 runs against the Rockies during their three-game series. The last time the Pirates scored that many runs or more was July 28-30 against the San Diego Padres in 2000 when they scored 34. The franchise record is 38, and the last time it was done was in 1940
  • Andrew McCutchen recorded his 291st home run Wednesday afternoon against the Rockies, as well as recording 1966 career hits after his two-hit performance.
  •  Jason Delay recorded his second three-hit performance Wednesday afternoon. Delay failed to record three hits in a game until this year.

Links

Potanko: Do the Pittsburgh Pirates Have Diamond in Rough With Sean Sullivan? (+)

Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch: Gonzales Returns, Terrero Has Four-Hit Night

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