Emotional Pitch and Heart Defect

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May 4, 2017 00:33
Today, I read a news article about Jimmy Kimmel, whose newborn son had been diagnosed with a heart defect. The infant's pulmonary valve was completely blocked. Talking about this, Kimmel held back his tears and made an emotional pitch for continued funding to NIH (National Institute of Health) and health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

There are some parts of this news article that I don't quite get.

1) What does the word "pitch" mean in expressions like "makes an emotional pitch" and "makes a personal pitch?" Does it mean persuasion?

2) However, a bipartisan agreement in Congress reached on Sunday will instead increase funding to the institution BY $2 billion, a win for Democrats.

Does the word "BY" mean "to the number of" or "with an addition of?"

3) Mr. Trump claimed on CBS' FaCE THe Nation on Sunday that...

I always wonder how native speakers pronounce the "S+TH" sounds because we have to "bite(the right word?)" our tongues to pronounce "TH." But if an "s" sound precedes it, it seems awkward to pronounce both the S sound and TH sound fully, as in the combination "this the", especially when you speak fast... I happened to come across this combination today and wanted to ask about this by the way.
我今天看了一篇新闻报道,说是深夜脱口秀主持人Jimmy Kimmel 刚出生的儿子被诊断出有心脏缺陷,肺部气管阀门堵塞。Kimmel 忍着泪水, made an emotional pitch for 继续支持NIH,并给那些已诊断出有疾病的人上保险的权利。