The Pittsburgh Pirates go into an off day having been swept by the New York Mets just after sweeping the Cincinnati Reds.
Things don’t look to get any easier having to now visit the New York Yankees for three games beginning on Tuesday.
Sunday’s finale went about as expected with the Pirates offense having to face off against Jacob deGrom. The Pirates were having issues getting bat to ball striking out 13 times against deGrom in five innings.
The bright spot was when Oneil Cruz connected on a 2-2 slider just below the zone and hit it 391 FT to right center 111 MPH off the bat. It was a three run shot that accounted for all of the Pirates offense on the day with Zack Collins and Jason Delay having both singled ahead of Cruz.
The three run HR had tied the game at the time with starter Johan Oviedo already exited after four innings giving up three earned runs of his own. Coming off a five inning shutout of the Reds, Oviedo found it difficult to navigate the Mets offense. 71 of his 84 pitches were either a 4-seam fastball or slider. He’s going to need to either work on his fastball or move to another iteration as he’s not finding much success other than throwing it very hard.
Of the 38 fastballs that Oviedo threw, he generated only 15 swings with three whiffs and then seven called strikes. Six of the swings involved balls put in play with an average exit velocity of 92.8 MPH. All of these numbers aren’t going to lead to much success for a pitcher that leans heavily on his 4-seam fastball.
Oviedo’s slider on the other hand has shown some promise. He threw a total of 33 sliders that generated 21 swings with eight whiffs and five called strikes. There were five balls put in play with an average exit velocity of 85.4 MPH, which is roughly three MPH lower than league average EV.
The final line for Oviedo on the night was four innings with five hits, four walks, and three earned runs to go with six strike outs. Oviedo did also hit Pete Alonso in the first inning, which Alonso did not like very much leading to the benches being cleared. Nothing came of it as I imagine Jeff McNeil was telling Alonso on his way to 1B that he should keep walking unless he wanted to become Oviedo’s Robin Ventura to Nolan Ryan.
The rest of the game involved the usual suspects out of the bullpen. Wil Crowe kicked off the fifth inning and completed two innings on just 20 pitches. He’s now up to 73.2 IP on the season. Crowe was also the only pitcher to not give up any runs on the evening.
Robert Stephenson pitched the seventh and kept the game a 3-3 tie at the time. Stephenson came back out for the eighth when it would take three relievers (Stephenson included) to finish off the inning. After giving up a leadoff single Stephenson was replaced by Manny Banuelos.
Pinch runner Terrance Gore stole 2B and moved to third on a Delay throwing error, and then scored the go ahead run on Banuelos from a RBI single. Manny struck out Francisco Lindor and then walked the next batter, ending his evening for Duane Underwood Jr. to come in. Underwood walked the bases loaded and then gave up a two-run single moving the score to 6-3. Cruz’s 12th error and a RBI ground out later it was 7-3 which would be the final score.
Stephenson was charged with an earned run. Banuelos charged with two earned runs and Underwood with an unearned run.
Surprisingly six of the seven runs the Mets scored were earned even with the Pirates defense committing four errors on the evening. This was to go along with striking out a grand total of 20 times.
It’s probably a good time for a day off.