Pirates left hander Paul Maholm (0-3, 4.30ERA,) tries to win the series for the Bucs against the Nationals tonight at PNC Park. Maholm has never won (0-4) against the Nats, getting bombed in his last start on September 4th when the Nats sent ten batters to the plate in the fourth inning and scored five times.
In his career, against Washington, Maholm has allowed 29 earned runs in just 41.2 innings pitched. Maholm has pitched a lot for the Bucs in the past six seasons, in fact the only lefty over that time period to throw more innings is Cole Hamels. Maholm just hasn’t done it well against the guys with the curly W on their hats.
Another thing for the left hander to worry about, the slumping Jayson Werth has owned Maholm in the past.
Two bats that the Pirates will be counting are tonight will be Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata. Tabata is hitting .500 (6-for12) against LHP this season. The dynamic duo at the top of the order for the Buccos are batting .429 in the series, with three walks, three steals, and five runs scored–nearly six if Cutch gets his right spike down yesterday.
Historically for McCutchen and Tabata against the Nats it’s been much of the same as they have went 27-for-74 against the Nationals, a .365 average with five bombs.
The Bucs lead the NL in sacrifice bunts, along with the Braves. Five of them have lead to runs.
Over half of the past 50 runs given up by Pirates pitchers have come from the long ball.
Lyle Overbay is 2-for20 against LHP.
Chris Resop has allowed just six earned runs in 30 innings pitched since being grabbed from the Braves.
Maybe Brandon Wood will be a similar success story, he gets the start at 3B tonight.
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The Pirates need a win tonight. The defending World Series champions and all the feel good stories that go with those San Frnacisco Giants are rolling into town tomorrow. Matt Cain will start for the Giants against Charlie Morton. The other Giants starters are to be announced. The Pirates will counter with James McDonald 10+ERA and Jeff Karstens. Yeh. So let’s win tonight.
Ronny Cedeno has four hits in twelve at-bats against lefties this season. Since Brandon Wood arrived in Pittsburgh, Cedeno is 3-for-8 with two doubles. He has driven in runs in four of his last seven games.