Wednesday, May 31, 2023

MLB Preview: Colorado Rockies (15-22) at Pittsburgh Pirates (21-16)


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THE PIRATES: Snapped their season-high seven game losing streak with Monday night’s win against the Rockies…Have lost eight of their last nine games…Won seven straight games from 4/17-23, their longest winning streak since 2018 (11 games)…Hold a 0.5 game lead over the second-place Brewers in the National League Central coming into today…Have the third-best record in the National League behind the Braves (25-11) and Dodgers (22-15); are also tied for the seventh-best record in all of MLB.

RICH ON THE HILL: Rich Hill gets the start this afternoon in the final game of the season series between the Pirates and Rockies…Hill earned his first win as a Pirate after allowing one run in 6.0 innings while striking out seven batters when he faced the Rockies last month at Coors Field on April 17.

IN A GOOD PLACE: Beginning with his start on April 17 against the Rockies, Rich Hill has gone 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA (22.2ip/7er) in four starts…Hill won three straight starts from April 17-29 before losing a 4-0 decision (5.1ip/4r) in his last outing Friday night against the Blue Jays.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Today is the final game of Pittsburgh’s six-game homestand before the team embarks on a five-game road trip to Baltimore (May 12-14) and Detroit (May 16-17)…Pittsburgh has played just 13 games all-time at Camden Yards…The Pirates have gone 9-3 in 12 games at Comerica Park since the start of the 2017 season.

WHAT’S AT STAKE: The Pirates have gone 3-2 in their first five series of this season at PNC Park heading into the deciding game of this series against the Rockies…Prior to being swept by Toronto this past weekend, Pittsburgh won back-to-back series on its last homestand against the Reds and Dodgers from April 20-27.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR HAYES: Ke’Bryan Hayes recorded Pittsburgh’s only extra base hit of Tuesday’s game to extend his hitting streak to four games…During his current four-game streak, Hayes has gone 7-for-14 with a double and three walks.

RULE FIVE RULING: Jose Hernandez struck out one batter in 1.0-plus inning in his last game Tuesday night against the Rockies…Hernanez comes into today tied for the seventh-most strikeouts (17) among all rookie relief relief pitchers in MLB (Ian Hamilton of the Yankees leads the way with twenty five)…Hernandez’ 2.30 ERA also ranks fifth among all rookie relievers in MLB.

HENRY’S HOMERS: Last night Double-A Altoona’s Henry Davis homered twice for the third time this season, giving him eight in his first 21 games of 2023…Davis enters today ranked fourth in all of Minor League Baseball in OPS (1.175) and seventh in slugging (.711)…Davis’ eight home runs are tied for the second-most among all players in the Eastern League.

37 BUCS: Last night Luis Ortiz and Josh Palacios made their season debuts with the Pirates…A total of 37 players have now appeared in a game for the Pirates this season…The Oakland A’s have used a league-leading 40 players while Toronto has used a league-low 29 players…Last year a total of 68 players appeared in a game for the Bucs.

WINNING STARTS HERE: Pittsburgh’s starting rotation has recorded 16 wins, which are the second-most in MLB behind the Rays (19)…Pittsburgh’s starters had a Major-League low 21 wins during the 2022 season…Pittsburgh’s starting rotation has tossed a total of 202.2 innings this year, which are the second-most in all of MLB behind the Minnesota Twins (203.2).

TAPPING THE ROCKIES: Chris Owings is a .342 career hitter (82-for-240) with 24 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 37 RBI in 76 games against Colorado…The Pirates are averaging 7.2 runs per game this year vs. Colorado.

PLAYING THE FIELD: Carlos Santana is one of just two first basemen in MLB to record three Defensive Runs Saved this season at first base according to the Fielding Bible…Since the beginning of last season, Santana has recorded a .996 fielding percentage after being charged with three errors in 851 total chances in 902.0 innings at first base.

THE RENEGADE: David Bednar threw a total of 14 pitches while tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning Friday night against the Blue Jays…Bednar comes into today tied for the fourth-lowest ERA (0.64) among all relievers in MLB…The only three relievers to produce lower earned run averages in MLB are Baltimore’s Yennier Cano (0.00), Andrew Wantz of the Angels (0.59) and David Robertson of the Mets (0.63).

RICH HILL: The 43-year-old lefthander is making his eighth start this afternoon…Lost a 4-0 decision (5.1ip/4er) in his last start Friday night against the Blue Jays.

vs. COLORADO: 2-4 with a 5.11 ERA (44.0ip/25er) in eight career starts…Is 1-0 in one start this season after winning a 14-3 decision (6.0ip/1er) at Coors Field on 4/17…His last loss came on 6/29/18 after allowing one run in 6.2 innings while also recording 10 strikeouts.

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