The Nationals pitching staff has been ‘nails’ in their 5-game winning streak with just 5 earned runs in those 5 games by the starters and only 17 hits. This will be Max Scherzer’s first appearance since his perfect inning in the All-Star game where he threw 99.0 mph, and has been on a nice streak of his own lately giving up just 2 earned runs in his last 3 starts. On May 6th, Scherzer was at a 4.60 ERA and enters this game at a 3.03 ERA where he was almost tied with Tanner Roark in ERA before yesterday’s game. Scherzer would clearly like to follow Roark’s blueprint from yesterday, and possibly replicate his own June 2015 start when he faced the Pirates and had a very special and historic start.
The Pirates will start Chad Kuhl in his fourth MLB appearance, and in his last start Kuhl was pulled in the 3rd inning after giving up 4 runs. His ERA is 6.08 entering the game. Since the Nationals have never faced Kuhl before, we will look at his scouting report. Kuhl pitched for the University of Delaware and was picked by the Pirates in the 9th round of the 2013 draft. Kuhl turns 24-years-old in September, and is a right-handed pitcher and is 6’3″ tall according to his bio. Kuhl throws a power sinker, slider and changeup. If his sinker is up, he is very hittable even with his 95mph velo. Kuhl’s reachback fastball can touch 97mph.
After today’s game, there are only 69 games remaining in the regular season. The trade deadline day is less than 2 weeks away. Mike Rizzo and Dusty Baker have to like their team as currently assembled, and today’s line-up with a day-off tomorrow with a well-rested bullpen have the Nationals well-situated.
Here are Max Scherzer’s stats against the Pirates:
Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:35 pm EDT
TV: MASN, WUSA-9, ROOT-Pitt, MLB.tv
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner 2B
- Ben Revere CF
- Jayson Werth LF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Wilson Ramos C
- Clint Robinson 1B
- Stephen Drew 3B
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Max Scherzer RHP