The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to bust out the brooms on Sunday afternoon in Miami
April has been a month of sweeps for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They have been swept by the Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and St. Louis Cardinals. Additionally, they have swept the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now hoping that there is one sweep left on their April schedule. Sunday afternoon, the Bucs will play the Miami Marlins and with a victory, the Pirates will finish off a weekend sweep fo the Marlins.
Entering Sunday’s game the Pirates own a record of 11-12. Finishing the month of April with a .500 record would be a good accomplishment, and they would do just that with a victory on Sunday.
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The team has been without starting third baseman Jung Ho Kang for the entire month of May. Starting center fielder Starling Marte has missed the past 10 games due to a suspension, and their top two bench players, Adam Frazier and David Freese, are both currently on the disabled list.
Adding to their challenges is the fact the Pirates have played a very challenging scheduled in April. Their opponents this month own a .517 winning percentage. But with a win this afternoon, the Pirates will finish the season’s opening month with a .500 record at 12-12.
If the Pirates are going to complete the three-game sweep of the Marlins, they need Chad Kuhl to be much better than he was in his most recent outing. This past Monday against the Chicago Cubs Kuhl lasted just 1 2/3 innings. He allowed 9 runs on 8 hits, 4 walks, and a home run in this 1 2/3 innings pitched.
Through four starts this season, Chad Kuhl owns a 4.15 FIP and a 6.01 xFIP.
As for the Marlins, they will give the ball to Tom Koehler. After holding the Washington Nationals to just 1 run in 5 innings of work in his first start of the season, Koehler has allowed at least 3 runs in each of his past three starts.
For the season, Tom Koehler owns a 6.52 FIP, 4.55 xFIP, and he’s already allowed 6 home runs in just 21 innings pitched. Control has also been an issue for Koehler, who has walked 10 batters (4.29 BB/9) already this season.
First pitch for Sunday afternoon is scheduled for 1:10 PM from Marlins Park in Miami. Hopefully, the Pirates will be celebrating their third sweep of the season’s opening month afterward.