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Pirates Preview: Vince Velasquez Aims to Build on Last Start



Vince Velasquez, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates (10-7) aim to take the series against the Colorado Rockies after they demolished Colorado in game one 14-3.

The Pirates’ offense was scorching hot against the Rockies after plating six in the second inning, two in the third inning, and four in the fifth inning.

Andrew McCutchen belted his third homer of the season, and Mark Mathias finished the night with a stellar four-hit performance.

Game time is expected to start around 8:40 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.


You can expect clear skies again on Tuesday in Denver. Temperatures will range from 58-64 degrees, and there will be strong winds between 11-16 mph blowing southwest.

The Pirates will send out RHP Vince Velasquez  (1-2, 5.40 ERA)

Velasquez delivered a very strong performance in his last outing on April 13 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Velasquez picked up the W after pitching six strong innings, giving up no earned runs on three hits, two walks, and striking out six on 95 pitches (60 strikes).

Velasquez had his best stuff working for him, as he induced 18 swings and misses, with ten of them coming from his four-seam fastball.

Velasquez mixed his locations fairly well with his fastball, and as a result, he only allowed eight balls in play off of it and kept the Cardinals’ hitters off balance by mixing in his slider 32% of the time.

Velasquez has faced the Rockies nine times (eight starts) and holds a 2-1 record with an ERA of 4.75.

The Rockies will send out RHP Jose Urena (0-2, 9.90 ERA).

Urena has had a rough go of things in his first three starts of the season, but he put forth his best performance in his last start on April 12 against the Cardinals.

Urena went five full innings while giving up five hits, three earned runs, one walk, and struck out a season-high six on 77 pitches (49 strikes).

Urena offers a four-pitch mix with a sinker (32.9%), slider (31.1%), changeup (18.7%), and a four-seam (17.4%). Urena’s slider has produced the best results so far, with an opposing batting average of .200, an xBA of .096, and an average EV of 87.6 MPH.

Urena has faced the Pirates 12 times (five starts) and holds a 2-3 record with an ERA of 5.26.

Interesting Batting Match Ups

Colorado Hitters

  • Jurickson Profar is 3-3 against Velasquez
  • C.J. Cron is 3-4 with one homer against Velasquez
  • Kris Bryant is 3-6 with a double against Velasquez
  • Charlie Blackmon is 6-20 with one double against Velasquez
  • Harold Castro is 0-5 with four Ks against Velasquez
  • Mike Moustakas is 0- against Velasquez

Pirates Hitters

  • Bryan Reynolds is 2-4 against Urena
  • Austin Hedges is 0-5 with 3 Ks against Urena


  • After his four-hit performance on Monday night, Mark Mathias achieved his first career four-hit game in the major leagues.
  • McCutchen tallied his 290th homer in Colorado on Monday and is now ten away from 300. McCutchen is also just 11 home runs away from passing Ralph Kiner with the second most homers to suit up for the Pirates.
  • The Pirates notched 20 total stolen bases as a team Monday night and are tied for second in the National League with the New York Mets. The Chicago Cubs have 22 and are atop of the National League.


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