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Pirates Prospect Watch: Paul Skenes Pitches Into the Fifth in Latest Start

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Paul Skenes is human, after all.

The 2023 first overall pick gave up his first runs of the season against Omaha on Wednesday afternoon, in his first start where he pitched into the fifth inning.

Skenes allowed his first run of the season in the second inning. He allowed a triple on a play that wasn’t fielded well by outfielder Billy McKinney. With two outs, that runner scored on a single to right field. It’s likely the runner would have scored from second if the previous play was held to a double.

In the fourth inning, Skenes allowed a leadoff single, followed by a walk. After a fly out, he almost escaped the inning with no damage. A grounder back to the mound gave Skenes a potential double play ball. He fired low to second base, and Nick Gonzales couldn’t field the ball. The result was an error on Skenes that allowed a runner to score from second, rather than an inning ending double play.

Even the human version of Skenes is elite. In total, he allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits in 4.1 innings. He walked one and struck out seven. Check out more of the daily results below, including a look at the stuff from Skenes in the Statcast Heroes section.

PIRATES PROSPECT WATCH

INDIANAPOLIS won 7-4 in the latest start from Paul Skenes.

  • 2B Nick Gonzales extended his hitting streak to 14 games, going 3-for-5 with a home run. Gonzales picked up singles in his first two at-bats, then capped off his day in the sixth inning with his second homer of the year.
  • SS Liover Peguero went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
  • 1B Malcom Nunez went 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
  • DH Jake Lamb went 0-for-1 with three walks and an RBI.
  • LHP Brady Feigl pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Skenes, allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out three.

ALTOONA lost 8-7, after being down 7-1 after four innings.

  • RHP Bubba Chandler struck out his first batter, then dealt with control issues, leading to his removal after 34 pitches and two outs in the first. Two runs scored off him with RHP Valentin Linarez on the mound.
  • SS-2B Kervin Pichardo went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs. He also reached base on a walk.
  • 1B Seth Beer went 4-for-4 with two runs.
  • CF Jase Bowen went 2-for-4 with two runs.
  • LF Joe Perez went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

GREENSBORO lost 6-5, after carrying a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth.

  • LHP Hunter Barco got the start, allowing two runs in four innings of work. Both runs came in the fifth inning, with one scoring off a reliever. Barco struck out seven in four scoreless innings prior to the fifth. I wrote about Barco recently, who is off to a great start with a 1.80 ERA in his first five starts.
  • RHP Derek Diamond pitched three shutout innings in relief, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out four.
  • CF Sammy Siani got the scoring going, hitting a solo homer in the first inning for his second long shot of the year.
  • 3B Jack Brannigan went 1-for-5 with his second homer of the year, a two run shot in the fifth inning.
  • RF Charles McAdoo went 2-for-4 with a double.

BRADENTON lost 5-3 to Clearwater.

  • RHP Hung-Leng Chang pitched five innings, allowing two unearned runs on five hits, with a walk and four strikeouts.
  • LHP Inmer Lobo made his US debut with a shutout inning, striking out two, after pitching the last two seasons in the DSL.
  • C Garret Forrester went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
  • DH Omar Alfonzo went 1-for-1 with a 107.5 MPH double in the first, before being pulled from the game in the third inning.
  • DH Jack Herman, who replaced Alfonzo, went 2-for-4 with a run the rest of the game.

STATCAST HEROES

Skenes didn’t have his usual velocity today, pitching about 1 MPH slower on average. He only hit triple digits twice, which came later in the start. It seems like he was taking something off a lot of his pitches. He had seven pitches classified as sweepers, which fit the profile of his normal slider, just with less velocity and a bit more movement. Skenes used his splinker 22 times, after using the pitch 26 times combined in his previous four starts. STATS

The Pirates acquired Inmer Lobo in a trade for Hoy Park prior to the 2023 season. The lefty averaged 88 MPH with his fastball, and picked up two whiffs and three called strikes on ten sliders. STATS

TOMORROW’S SCHEDULE

  • Triple-A: Indianapolis, 7:05 PM – TBD
  • Double-A: Altoona, 6:00 PM – RHP Sean Sullivan (0-2, 3.55)
  • High-A: Greensboro, 7:05 PM – RHP Patrick Reilly (0-1, 6.17)
  • Single-A: Bradenton, 6:30 PM – RHP Antwone Kelly (0-2, 11.70)
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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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