Boy. That Andrew McCutchen really kills the Nationals doesn’t he? Cutch has eleven homers against the Natinals (not a mistake). The only team he has more against is the Brewers. That’s stunning considering the Nationals are 13th in starts against for Cutch. In 24 games Cutch has a slash line of .456/.514/.933 for an OPS of 1.448. His .933 SLG is better than his total OPS of all but seven teams he has faced.
Jason Grilli was freaking sac-o-matic!
Thankfully he wasn’t blown away!
Another Grilliant outing!
What an absolute animal he’s been.
I wanted to find a way to bring up Slayer in my post because of the death of Jeff Hanneman but I couldn’t think of a good segue so you just get a performance of “Raining Blood”.
If I told you that Jeff Locke would have a better ERA, better record, better H/9 and better ERA+ than Stephen Strasburg on May 4th you’d laugh at me. But here we sit and Jeff Locke has been lights out his past two games. Thirteen scoreless innings for Locke.
He’s even gotten those walks under control a bit. At least to the point where he is striking out twice as many than he is walking, or more.
I’d have to imagine the Nats score on him at some point today, but even if he does struggle the Pirates have a rested up bullpen after A.J. Burnett‘s performance last night.
I think it might be time for him to change his name to K.J. Burnett by the way.
The Nats are pretty awful against left handed pitchers so far so maybe this success will continue.
|vs RHP as RHB||29||414||38||91||20||4||12||37||27||100||.244||.296||.416||.712|
|vs RHP as LHB||29||424||43||90||17||2||11||42||38||83||.234||.303||.374||.677|
|vs LHP as RHB||21||147||13||29||10||0||2||13||9||32||.212||.265||.328||.594|
|vs LHP as LHB||19||86||8||13||1||0||3||8||9||24||.169||.256||.299||.555|
|vs LH Starter||77||216||22||44||10||0||4||22||15||48||.222||.280||.333||.614|
|vs RH Starter||317||855||80||179||38||6||24||78||68||191||.231||.294||.389||.683|
It’ll also be Locke’s first career start against the Nationals so maybe their unfamiliarity will play a role.
It’s nice to be able to say I don’t hate this matchup when the Pirates are facing Strasburg.
There was some question in regards to Stephen Strasburg making this start at all. Strasburg hasn’t won a start since Opening Day. He has pitched well with five quality starts in six games. It’s not that he’s been bad. During his last outing he kept shaking his throwing arm in obvious discomfort.
A possibly hurt Strasburg, a clearly off Ryan Zimmerman? All reasons to like the Pirates chances.
While we are talking about Nationals I’d be remiss to leave Adam LaRoche off the list. He might suck early on but he had little problem against the Pirates last night. Nothing great that deserves mention. So why mention him? Because of the idiotic boos he receives at PNC Park. What did he do to deserve boos? He played hard, played well, and never complained. Plenty players deserve ire, LaRoche isn’t one of them.
Back to Strasburg though.
There are moments I will never forget. Do you remember when Brad Lincoln was pushed back so he didn’t have to pitch in Stephen Strasburg’s debut against the Pirates? Strasburg was dominant striking out 14 batters. That number is seared in my head. I didn’t even have to look it up. Just one of those weird memories that stick. Just like when Delwyn Young of all people took him deep for his first career homer.
He’s only faced the Pirates one other time since that four hit, two run, fourteen K, outing. It was another pretty freaking good outing.
A perfect 2-0.
First Pitch: 4:05 PM EST
Where To Watch: Fox, MLB.TV