The Nationals lead all of baseball with just 82 runs allowed. The Pirates are last in baseball with just 78 runs scored. Obviously, a three-game series with the Nationals looks like it may pose some serious concerns for the Pirates. Then again, the Pirates had a veritable offensive explosion against the Cardinals a week ago (16 runs in three games is kind of an explosion!), and the Cardinals’ pitching staff is the NL’s second best. And the Nationals’ offense is only better than the Pirates’ offense, while the Pirates’ pitching staff is fourth-best in the NL in terms of runs allowed.
So runs may be hard to come by this week, is the point I’m driving at here. Tonight specifically, the pitching matchup is kind of intriguing in that Edwin Jackson is pitching for the Nationals and the Pirates were interested in signing Jackson this winter. When Jackson decided he had no interest in playing for the Pirates, they went out and traded for Jackson’s mound opponent, AJ Burnett. Burnett, of course, was absolutely terrible in his last start against the Cardinals. It’s hard to imagine he could be that bad again, but I feel like maybe I’m jinxing something just by suggesting it.
The first pitch tonight is at 7:05, if the weather will allow it. I’ll be blacked out and moaning about it all week.