Clint Hurdle does some managing with his gut. So what are you thinking about the Pittsburgh Pirates chances in DC tonight? The Pirates will trot left hander Paul Maholm to the mound. Paulie, as Clint Hurdle likes to call him, shut down the Nats on four hits in April to earn a victory, his first ever career win over the Nationals.
Paulie has pitched well since he held the Nats to two runs back on April 25. He has dropped his ERA to 3.60 and has allowed just seven runs in 20 innings.
But he has had miniscule run support from his Pirates teammates. Do you think anything changes tonight?
The Bucs are on a skid. Hence there is no better place for the slumping Bucs to be for a two game set than in the dirtiest city on the planet against a strikeout happy Nats team.
The Nats have southpaw John Lannan on the hill as he was opposite of Paulie back on April 25. The Pirates offense put up four runs on Lannan in just five innings of work. Like the Bucs, Lannan is on a skid since that game and also has put up a near five ERA in seven starts against the Pirates. Maholm is actually worse in his career against the Nats with a 5.73 ERA in 48.2 innings.
Neil Walker went 5-for-11 in the Nats series and has had a knock in 8 of 9 games against them. Walker is in the middle of a really nice stretch of hitting where he is reaching base safely nearly every night, (16-of-last-19.) Ronny Cedeno is batting .311 in the past 15 games. He hasn’t had an error in 25 games and basically is still the most dangerous player on earth. Stay thirsty my friends.
My gut says the Bucs get one tonight.