Pittsburgh Pirates Battling For Top Spot In NL Central When Taking On Capital

Pittsburgh Pirates Battling For Top Spot In NL Central When Taking On Capital



The Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Washington Capitals tonight with every game important for the Pirates who are one game behind St. Louis is the NL Central. A.J. Burnett will take the hill for the Pirates while Gio Gonzalez will pitch for the Capitals.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently second in the NL Central and 3.5 games behind so every contest is important for them. A.J. Burnett pitched good in his last trip to the mound but 3 unearned runs cost him a victory and quality start. He struck out eight in just 5 2/3 innings against the Reds on Saturday and if he can bring that kind of performance to Washington he will give his chance a great chance to take a win.

Since the All-Star break centerfielder Andrew McCutchen has been on fire hitting .320 with 4 home runs and 6 RBI’s. No one else has performed even close to that level for the Pirates since the break but first baseman Garret Jones and third baseman Pedro Alvarez do both have two home run a piece post break. Left Fielder Starling Marte has had a rough time in the batter box since the break with 11 strikeouts in 26 at bats.

The Washington Capitals are desperately in need for a win going just 1-9 in their last ten games. They are currently 48-53 in a season they felt anything but first would be a disappointment. Gio Gonzalez gives them a great chance for a win at home with his 7-3 record and low 2.89 ERA. He pitched brilliantly his last performance fanning 11 batters over six scoreless innings, however like most good pitching performances for the Capitals this season it was not backed up by any run support.

One glance at the Capitals batting statistics post All-Star break is all one needs to understand why this season has been so disappointing for Washington. Besides right fielder Jayson Werth there is really just not anything to write about, and sadly for Werth he has been playing incredibly with no support around him. Werth is hitting.300 since the break with 5 home runs, 8 RBI’s, and walked three times.

If the Washington Capitals had any win the past 10 games line would be much higher for Gio Gonzalez at home who is a stud. I look for the Capitals to give him some run support at home and get a much needed victory over A.J. Burnett and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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