We are finally here. The final series of this regular season for the Washington Nationals before the post-season and for the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates they can’t wait to move on. The Pirates are 73-85 and won enough games where they won’t lose 90, but they will still finish the season with a losing record. The one player the Pirates tried to trade in the off-season was Andrew McCutchen, and he finished with a good bounceback season as McCutchen raised his batting average of .256 last year to .279 this season and “Cutch” leads his team in OPS.
One day we may find out how close McCutchen was to being traded to the Washington Nationals. It didn’t happen and in the way sports works the man the Nationals did get was Adam Eaton who was traded for a hefty load of prospects only to see Eaton injured and lost for the season giving way to Michael Taylor who is at a fWAR of 3.2 versus Cutch’s fWAR +3.7, but Taylor has had 34% fewer plate appearances making Taylor more valuable on a per-PA basis in an equivalent Taylor would be worth an astounding +4.9 . Surprise surprise.
Nobody can control the future, and Edwin Jackson’s is murky at best going from a 2.79 ERA to a 12.38 ERA his last four starts with a 1.225 OPS against. If Dusty Baker wonders where “best record” went to — that is one place to look. The Nationals lost all four of those games by a combined score of 26-to-12 and in Jackson starts the team lost 7 of his 12 games. What looked so promising on August 29th turned to “Fool’s Gold” afterwards. Jackson has also taxed the bullpen getting pulled mid-inning in his last 4 starts averaging just 4 innings completed.
The Pirates will pitch Ivan Nova who they got from the Yankees, and the right-handed Ivan Nova has been a Pirates workhorse making his career-high 31st start this season.
Both McCutchen and Starling Marte have “owned” Jackson in the past, and you just hope EJax can finish on a high-note.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, ATT-Sportsnet Pittsburgh, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 184 Sirius 218 (Internet 869)
Line-ups subject to change (without notice):
Here's how we're lining up to kick off our final regular season homestand. pic.twitter.com/9NR0blz7OD
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 28, 2017