The Game: Pittsburgh Pirates (11-17) at Washington Nationals (12-17)
The Matchup: Phil Dumatrait (0-1, 3.92) vs. John Lannan (2-2, 2.64)
The Story: The streaking Nationals have won four in a row, and look to make it five tonight on the back of their most successful pitcher thus far, John Lannan. Lannan hopes to follow up a great outing last Sunday against the Cubs. He is 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA in his last three starts. In other words, Lannan has been pitching out of his mind. Can he continue his hot start? NL Beast has waited for Lannan to crack all season, but it hasn’t happened yet.
The Nationals offense hasn’t exactly been consistent this season, but it has continued to get the job done from unsuspecting contributors. Wil Nieves, example numero uno, starts behind the plate tonight, as he has become Lannan’s personal catcher. Paul Lo Duca returns to the team after being recalled from Class A Potomac after completing a rehab stint. Ryan Zimmerman continues to suffer from a lack of production…we’ll be watching to see if he can break out of his cold streak.
Phil Dumatrait makes his first start of the season, taking over the rotation spot that used to belong to recently released starter Matt Morris. He wasn’t exactly, err, successful last year as a starter, going 0-4 with a 15.00 ERA with the Reds. He never pitched more than five innings.
It’s a beautiful night for baseball in Washington, enjoy the game.
Pirates: McLouth (CF), Sanchez (2B), Bay (LF), Doumit (C), Nady (RF), Mienkiewicz (1B), Bautista (3B), Gomez (SS), Doumit (P)
Nationals: Lopez (2B), Guzman (SS), Zimmerman (3B), Johnson (1B), Milledge (CF), Kearns (RF), Peña (LF), Nieves (C), Lannan (P)