PITTSBURGH – Trevor Cahill and Luis Oviedo are the oldest and youngest players on the pirate list. When Cahill made his MLB debut with Oakland on April 7, 2009, Oviedo was just 9 years old. The 21-year-old Oviedo had nine outs in the major league on Monday. Cahill had so many employers at this level.
The only thing they have in common is their quick ways to get to the majors. Both made it here at age 21. Cahill turned down an academic scholarship to Dartmouth after being drafted in the second round and it took less than three years to pitch his first place for the A. Oviedo is a rule 5 that the pirates acquired in December. Pittsburgh has to keep him on their list.
Despite being on the other end of the spectrum, Cahill and Oviedo played a major role in the Padres' 6-2 win over the Pirates at PNC Park on Monday.
The veteran took a step forward. The boy went the other way. And the Pirates (3-7) saw the end of their winning streak in two games.
Oviedo was on the hill when the game finally turned in the sixth inning. That he was there was a strange decision by Derek Shelton, which shows how the pirate manager thinks of the highly competitive helper. It was hardly an easy task.
The Padres entered the game with the third best OPS (.758) in the National League, while their clean-up hitter – first baseman Eric Hosmer – broke through .353 / .421 / .676 in his first nine games. Oviedo jogged out of the bullpen tied 1 to hit 3-4-5 in the San Diego stacked lineup – superstars Manny Machado, Hosmer and Wil Myers. Good luck boy Go get it.
The bottom line was not good for Oviedo, at least in the short term. The hope is that the bigger picture matters, despite giving up five deserved runs with five hits over 1⅔ innings. The lesson for Oviedo: mastering your pitches is important.
Oviedo went to Machado to open the sixth and knocked Hosmer back to the hill before missing his four-stitched fastball. Myers turned it 421 feet to the very center.
It wasn't the worst pitch Oviedo could have thrown, but it wasn't the kind of offer that Shelton convinced Oviedo to be ready for the spot. It would have hurt less without the previous walk. The Padres made another run in the sixth run thanks to a brace from catcher Victor Caratini, and it came in a similar place – deep in the zone but leaked.
What both Oviedo should say is that clubs are incredibly good at this level. The smallest details are important.
The troubles continued into the next inning when Oviedo left left fielder Jurickson Profar for a single to Machado before Myers slapped a raised slider from Oviedo to the left and scored two more.
Cahill knows the difficulty of facing Major League hits very well – and had to learn again when he had problems on his last start.
The 33-year-old allowed seven earned runs over four innings and looked just like someone who only threw 3⅔ innings during spring training. It looked like a jug that was still trying to pull off significant rust.
The biggest factor in Cahill was the sharpness of its refractive material. For someone below average in this era of flame throwing, Cahill goes for a great curveball – frankly one of the better ones in baseball – and a cutter that can act like a slider.
Neither of them were particularly effective on their last start against the Reds, and Cahill paid the price. But against the Padres, the pirates saw what Cahill can be when his things work. The only run Cahill allowed came in the first inning on a bloop single from Myers, which the real outfield, amazingly, hit twice. (Yes, seriously. Almost defied physics.)
That being said, Cahill was great, allowing three hits and two walks while scoring eight hits. Half of those strikes came on Kutter, while Cahill effectively mixed all of his pitches.
He might have gone one more as the Pirates had two outs and no one was on when Shelton Cahill ripped off to just 82 pitch for a prize hitter. (The downside would be that Cahill isn't fully built yet.)
Either way, it's been an encouraging foray by the seasoned right-hander who continues the strong start trend at this homestand. In the last four games, this group has achieved an ERA of 2.61.
It was a tough job for Monday's pirate offense as it faced right-handed Yu Darvish, who had brought Pittsburgh to a batting average just a little over .100. Additionally, the San Diego pitching team was ridiculous – they led the National League on the batting average against (.181), strikeouts (108), ERA (1.78, also MLB) and Bullpen ERA (0.84, also MLB) ) at.
The Padres looked just as good against the Pirates, who were limited to a double from Phillip Evans in the first game and a sacrificial flight from Adam Frazier in the eighth. Wilmer Difo scored after a pinch triple.
Darvish allowed a run over seven with six strokes to take his first win of the season. Former pirate Keone Kela finished the game in a goalless ninth place for his new team.
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