|PITTSBURGH ( BURNETT )|
WASHINGTON ( GONZALEZ )
|953||PITTSBURGH||+120||Ov 7.5,+110||+120||Ov 7,+100|
|954||WASHINGTON||-130||Un 7.5,-130||-130||Un 7,-120|
|vs Left-handed Starters||10-9||+0.1||11-8||4.2||0.253||0.306||3.7||0.245||0.316|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1||3-4||3.9||0.236||0.288||3.4||0.218||0.296|
|vs Right-handed Starters||34-39||-14.4||36-34||3.6||0.240||0.298||4.1||0.256||0.308|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-6.6||2-5||2.6||0.228||0.280||4.6||0.266||0.307|
|7/12/2013||MORTON(R)||NY METS||HEFNER(R)||3-2||W||-145||7.5 un||U||6||8||0||9||7||0|
|7/13/2013||BURNETT(R)||NY METS||TORRES(R)||4-2||W||-170||7.5 un||U||10||8||0||8||10||0|
|7/14/2013||COLE(R)||NY METS||GEE(R)||2-4||L||-155||7.5 un||U||9||9||0||9||6||2|
|7/19/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ CINCINNATI||LEAKE(R)||3-5||L||-110||7.5 ev||O||10||8||1||8||6||0|
|7/20/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LATOS(R)||4-5||L||125||8 un||O||8||12||1||10||9||3|
|7/21/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ CINCINNATI||BAILEY(R)||3-2||W||125||8 un||U||7||7||0||3||6||0|
|7/22/2013||MORTON(R)||@ WASHINGTON||HAREN(R)||6-5||W||115||8.5 un||O||8||6||0||9||4||0|
|7/23/2013||COLE(R)||@ WASHINGTON||JORDAN(R)||5-1||W||105||8.5 ov||U||10||5||0||3||3||2|
|7/24/2013||LIRIANO(L)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)||4-2||W||125||7 un||U||5||4||0||5||5||1|
|7/25/2013||BURNETT(R)||@ WASHINGTON||GONZALEZ(L)|| |
|7/26/2013||LOCKE(L)||@ MIAMI||ALVAREZ(R)|| |
|7/27/2013||MORTON(R)||@ MIAMI||KOEHLER(R)|| |
|7/28/2013||COLE(R)||@ MIAMI||FERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|7/29/2013||LIRIANO(L)||ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)|| |
|7/30/2013|| ||ST LOUIS|| || |
|7/30/2013|| ||ST LOUIS|| || |
|7/31/2013|| ||ST LOUIS|| || |
|8/1/2013|| ||ST LOUIS|| || |
|7/11/2013||ZIMMERMANN(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||KENDRICK(R)||1-3||L||-135||8 ev||U||5||5||0||9||7||4|
|7/12/2013||STRASBURG(R)||@ MIAMI||EOVALDI(R)||3-8||L||-165||7 un||O||6||10||0||9||7||0|
|7/13/2013||HAREN(R)||@ MIAMI||FERNANDEZ(R)||1-2||L||115||7.5 un||U||7||9||1||4||7||1|
|7/14/2013||JORDAN(R)||@ MIAMI||ALVAREZ(R)||5-2||W||-140||8.5 un||U||14||11||0||11||7||0|
|7/19/2013||STRASBURG(R)||LA DODGERS||NOLASCO(R)||2-3||L||-155||7.5 ov||U||9||6||0||8||5||0|
|7/20/2013||GONZALEZ(L)||LA DODGERS||GREINKE(R)||1-3||L||-135||7.5 un||U||10||12||2||10||12||0|
|7/21/2013||ZIMMERMANN(R)||LA DODGERS||KERSHAW(L)||2-9||L||+105||7 un||O||4||4||0||15||10||1|
|7/26/2013||ZIMMERMANN(R)||NY METS||MEJIA(R)|| |
|7/26/2013||OHLENDORF(R)||NY METS||HARVEY(R)|| |
|7/27/2013||HAREN(R)||NY METS||GEE(R)|| |
|7/28/2013||STRASBURG(R)||NY METS||TORRES(R)|| |
|7/30/2013||GONZALEZ(L)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)|| |
|7/31/2013||ZIMMERMANN(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|PITTSBURGH: HITTING: The Pirates' two-month casual flirtation with competitiveness was cute while it lasted, before this team fizzled to a 72-win season. This team is still years away. But don't blame OF ANDREW McCUTCHEN, who might be the best all-around player in the division. Of all the ballyhooed outfielders from the 2005 draft, he's the one GMs would most want to build around. OF JOSE TABATA, not so much. He's serviceable and has plus speed, but the six-year extension the Pirates gave him was absurd. 2B NEIL WALKER has settled into a respectable place short of stardom. 3B PEDRO ALVAREZ has a lot of uphill climbing to do if he wants to wake up old expectations. He'll compete with 3B CASEY MCGEHEE for a starting role, but it's most likely that Alvarez moves to first base to back up 1B GARRETT JONES. OFs NATE McLOUTH and ALEX PRESLEY are underwhelming choices for the starting left-field spot. SS CLINT BARMES and C ROD BARAJAS would like to thank the Pirates for wildly overpaying them. |
STARTING PITCHING: JEFF KARSTENS looked pretty decent for much of last year. But that's what happens when you get to log 14 percent of your innings against the lowly Astros. Better teams exposed him for the replacement-level guy he is. Contrary to what a lot of bored, lazy sportswriters wanted you to believe last year, CHARLIE MORTON doesn't pitch like Roy Halladay. At all. JAMES McDONALD could still be special if he cut down his walk rate. ERIK BEDARD was a respectable signing. Even if his shoulder acts up, he cost only $4.5 million for a year. If he's healthy, he's still well above-average. KEVIN CORREIA may only be slightly more effective at striking out hitters than a batting tee, but the Pirates are grateful for the innings he eats. BRAD LINCOLN is the designated fill-in if any of the other starters get hurt (cough, Bedard). In the meantime, he's a swing man.
RELIEF PITCHING: Closer JOEL HANRAHAN has been outstanding since first donning a Pirates uniform in 2009, converting 40-of-44 saves with a 1.83 ERA last season. It makes sense for the rebuilding Pirates to move him, but they'll probably keep the hand they were dealt. There isn't another qualified ninth-inning pitcher in this bullpen though. EVAN MEEK was bit by the shoulder bug. His early season was an unqualified disaster, but he turned it around and regained his form once he came back in September. He should be fully healthy again, and a quiet source of a few saves. CHRIS RESOP is another primary set-up man, but he posted a 4.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 2011. DANIEL McCUTCHEN won't be so lucky with his ERA this year if he doesn't lower his walk rate. He's just not a guy to put much faith in.
|WASHINGTON: HITTING: The Nats were among the eight worst teams in the majors in runs (3.88 per game), BA (.242), OBP (.309) and OPS (.691). Much of that had to do with the first two spots in the batting order hitting .285 OBP and .283 OBP respectively. OF ROGER BERNADINA (.301 OBP) and SS IAN DESMOND (.298 OBP) were the regular 1-2 hitters in the order. $126 million OF JAYSON WERTH was also to blame, batting .232 with a meager 58 RBI in 561 at-bats. 3B RYAN ZIMMERMAN also missed two months with an abdominal problem and had a down year with 12 HR and 49 RBI in 101 games. But OF MIKE MORSE had a breakout season, leading the Nats in batting (.303), HR (31) and RBI (95). 1B ADAM LaROCHE suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in June, but should be fully healed. Washington is counting on a pair of talented 24-year-olds to contribute a little more in 2B DANNY ESPINOSA (.236 BA, 21 HR) and C WILSON RAMOS (15 HR in 389 AB). |
STARTING PITCHING: STEPHEN STRASBURG is back fully healed from Tommy John surgery, but will reportedly be limited to 160 innings in 2012. That's still enough time to strike out 150 batters and win a dozen games though. In sending four quality prospects to Oakland, the Nats paid a huge price for GIO GONZALEZ. They hope he can overcome his control issues and become an elite No. 2. Well-traveled EDWIN JACKSON was also brought in to help bolster the rotation. He joins his sixth different club since 2008, but Jackson is just 28 years old and was serviceable after being traded to St. Louis last year (5-2, 3.58 ERA). JORDAN ZIMMERMANN was in the same boat as Strasburg last year, coming off elbow surgery and limited to 161.1 innings. But in that time, he had a team-best 3.18 ERA and 4.0 K-to-BB ratio (124 K, 31 BB). JOHN LANNAN remains the top lefty in the Nats rotation with a team-high 10 wins in 2011. He dominated left-handed hitters last year (.211 BA, 55 K in 185 AB), but still needs to improve his weak 1.4 K-to-BB ratio (106 K, 76 BB).
RELIEF PITCHING: DREW STOREN had a phenomenal first year as a full-time closer, saving 43-of-48 games with a 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 74 K in 75.1 innings. His role will remain the same in 2012 once he returns from the 15-day DL (elbow) to start the season. Newcomer BRAD LIDGE was limited to 25 innings because of shoulder problems last year, but he appears to be the closer until Storen returns. The Nats have arguably the best set-up man in the game in TYLER CLIPPARD, who led the majors with 38 holds and posted a 1.83 ERA and 0.84 WHIP for the season. He held opponents to a .162 average and fanned 104 batters in 88.1 innings of work. Lefty SEAN BURNETT saw a huge decline in his numbers, as his ERA rose from 2.14 to 3.81 and his WHIP jumped from 1.14 to 1.32. This was mostly due to a diminishing strikeout rate (8.9 to 5.2 last year).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-WASHINGTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Pirates-Nationals Preview* ===========================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
Pittsburgh (59-39) at Washington (48-52), 12:35 p.m. EDT
Even if Gio Gonzalez can continue his outstanding pitching, the Washington Nationals' slumping offense hasn't shown it can provide enough runs to end the team's lengthy slide.
The Pittsburgh Pirates hope to take advantage of those troubles and complete their first four-game road sweep of the Washington/Montreal franchise in 25 years Thursday.
Washington (48-53), the defending NL East champion, had its late rally fall short against a Pittsburgh team playing without injured All-Star closer Jason Grilli (forearm) in Wednesday's 4-2 loss.
The struggling Nationals had only two hits over the first eight innings before managing three in the ninth, including Jayson Werth's two-run home run, but still lost their season-worst sixth straight contest.
While Werth is 5 for 12 with five homers and eight RBIs in his last four games, Washington has gone 2 for 35 (.057) with runners in scoring position and totaled 13 runs during its skid.
Star left fielder Bryce Harper (knee) and shortstop Ian Desmond (hand blister) missed Wednesday's contest, but could be back as the Nationals look to avoid their longest losing streak since an eight-game slide from Aug. 28 - Sept. 5, 2009.
"We need to win some games," Wednesday's losing pitcher Stephen Strasburg said. "It's getting to the point where our back's against the wall."
Gonzalez (7-3, 2.89 ERA) seems poised to keep them close since he's 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last nine starts.
The left-hander matched a career high with 11 strikeouts and yielded four hits over six shutout innings, but was given only one run of support in Washington's eventual 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.
He'll try to build on his 2-0 record with a 2.84 ERA in his fourth career start against the Pirates (60-39) after surrendering two runs and five hits over six innings in a 6-2 victory at Pittsburgh on May 5.
Starling Marte took Gonzalez deep in that meeting, though he enters this meeting 1 for 21 in his last five games.
Following his own 1-for-21 stretch, teammate Pedro Alvarez may be heating up after going 3 for 7 with two home runs in the last two games of this series.
He'll try to help the Pirates win their fifth straight and claim their first four-game road sweep in this rivalry since June 23-26, 1988.
A.J. Burnett (4-7, 3.05) has gone 1-5 with a 3.39 ERA over his last 10 starts thanks in part to a Pittsburgh offense that has given him just 19 runs of support over that span. That's been a common theme for Burnett - his 3.07 run-support average ranks among the lowest in the major leagues.
The right-hander allowed four runs in the first inning but settled down and struck out eight in a 5-4 loss at Cincinnati on Saturday. He yielded five runs - two earned - and a season-high 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings.
Only two of his 15 career starts versus Washington/Montreal have come within the past two seasons. Burnett has struck out 19 while going 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA over 15 innings in those outings - both Pittsburgh victories.
While Burnett has made things tough on Ryan Zimmerman (0 for 9) and Desmond (0 for 7), Adam LaRoche is 3 for 6 with a home run since 2010.
|Last Updated: 9/22/2014 3:19:47 PM EST|