The Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals will resume a four-game series when they square off at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh in the pits
While Washington leads the National League wild-card race and trails first-place Atlanta by five games in the NL East, the Pirates have fallen apart since the all-star break with seven victories in the last 35 contests. Rookie Bryan Reynolds had one of the four hits for Pittsburgh in the series opener and leads the team with a .326 batting average while teammate Starling Marte saw his six-game hitting streak end. Marte, though, is 12-for-27 over his past seven contests.
— Pirates (@Pirates) August 20, 2019
Right-hander Chris Archer, who has not earned a victory since June 6, is taking the mound for Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Archer (3-9, 5.23 ERA) has pitched better this month while registering a 3.18 ERA with 25 strikeouts over 17.0 innings and three starts, but his winless streak has reached 12 contests. The 30-year-old two-time all-star gave up four runs (three earned) over 5.0 innings and matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts in a loss at the Angels last Wednesday. Adam Eaton is 7-for-15 with a double against Archer, who limited Washington to one run over seven innings in a no-decision April 13.
The Nationals look to continue their historic offensive surge on Tuesday. They have scored 62 runs over the last five games–four more than they have ever recorded in that span–after pounding out 15 hits, including four homers, on the way to a 13-0 rout in Monday’s series opener. Trea Turner belted one of the home runs in the series opener to extend his career-high on-base streak to 26 contests for Washington, while teammate Asdrubal Cabrera also went deep and is 11-for-29 with 10 RBIs in nine games since joining the team.
Right-hander Stephen Strasburg (15-5, 3.82 ERA) leads the National League with 15 wins and will go after his career-high 16th victory when he opposes Archer. Strasburg has not been as sharp in his last three starts, but managed to post a win Wednesday against Cincinnati when he allowed four runs over 5.2 innings. The 31-year-old San Diego State product has surrendered 16 runs over 17.1 innings combined in his last three starts after giving up four in his previous five outings.
The Washington Nationals are:
- 6-1 in their last seven overall
- 25-7 in their last 32 games against teams with losing records
- 7-1 in their last eight games against the National League Central
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- 5-21 in their last 26 overall
- 3-13 in their last 16 home games
- 7-19 in their last 26 games against right-handed starters