Pittsburgh Pirates: More Bullpen Struggles, Other Takeaways From Third Straight Sweep

Recapping the Pirates being swept in a three-game series at PNC Park against the Cubs
Jun 20, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Ji Hwan Bae (3)
Jun 20, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Ji Hwan Bae (3) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Young starting pitchers pitch well

One positive to come out of the series was the way the young starters for the Pirates threw the ball. Regardless of where the rest of this season goes you want to see young arms pitch well, and that's what the Pirates saw from their starting rotation.

Osvaldo Bido made his second career start, and second against the Cubs, in the series opener. Other than struggling in the 2nd inning when he had to pitch during a driving rainstorm, Bido turned in a strong start.

The righty pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on five hits, two walks, and no home runs. He flashed good stuff with the ability to generate swing-and-miss while striking out seven. Bido now owns a 3.60 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 11.1% walk rate, and a 28.9% strikeout rate in his two starts this season. With the Pirates in desperate need of starting pitching help, Bido has provided that through his two starts.

25-year-old righty Johan Oviedo started game two and turned in another strong start. In 6 innings pitched he allowed just 2 runs. Oviedo allowed five hits, a solo home run, did not walk a batter, and struck out three. He made big pitched when he needed to and was able to pitch out of the two jams he found himself in.

Halfway through his first full MLB season, Oviedo has pitched 81.2 innings in 15 starts. Oviedo owns a 4.30 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 0.66 HR/9, 9.5% walk rate, and a 20.2% strikeout rate. Those numbers are somewhat inflated as 33% of the earned runs he's allowed this season (13 of 39) came in back-to-back starts in late April/early May. Oviedo's ERA in his other 13 starts is 3.16. The development and growth of Oviedo has been one of the biggest positives for the Pirates this season.