Saturday, September 23, 2023
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MLB Preview: Washington Nationals (65-79) at Pittsburgh Pirates (66-78)


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THE PIRATES:..lost 6-2 in the opener of their four-game series last night against the Nationals…Went 3-3 in their six-game stretch that had the team playing the front-running Brewers of the National League Central and first-place Braves in the National League East…Have gone 8-5 in their last 13 games…Won five straight Games from 8/28 to 9/2, their third-longest winning streak of the season (the team won a season-high seven straight games from 4/17-23)…Have won four games this season when trailing after eight innings (won three games when trailing after eight last season)…Have gone 25-24 in their last 49 games since losing each of their first five games following the All-Star break…Have lost back-to-back games for the first time since 8/26-27 against the Cubs.

REYNOLDS ROLLING: Bryan Reynolds brings a season-high 12-game hitting streak (16- for-48, .333) into today, which is the second-longest active hitting streak in MLB (Luis Rengifo of the Angels has the longest active streak at 14 games)…Reynolds hit safely in a career-high 17 straight games in 2017…He has also hit safely in 17 of 20 career games against the Nationals, going 26-for-71 (.366) with six doubles, five home runs, 18 RBI and a 1.091 OPS.

FAMILIAR FOE: Bailey Falter will get the start tonight in game two of this series against the Nationals….Falter has recorded a 2.45 ERA (18.1ip/5er) in six career appearances (three starts) against the Nationals while playing for Philadelphia…Falter made each of his first three appearances against the Nats in relief…In his last start against Washington on September 30, 2022, Falter scattered three hits over 6.0 scoreless innings while winning a 5-1 decision against Erick Fedde at Nationals Park.

REMEMBERING ROBERTO: Earlier today the Pirates, in partnership with Puerto-Rican based GFR Media, and the Clemente family, welcomed the black-and-white photographic exhibit “3000” that will be on display during this homestand…Shipped from San Juan, Puerto Rico, the unique exhibit will feature a selection of images that takes viewers on a journey of the family life and timeless legacy of Roberto Clemente as seen through the lens of veteran photojournalist Luis Ramos.

BAE, BAE, BAE: Ji Hwan Bae comes into today hitting safely in each of his last six and in 11 of his last 12 games…Bae is hitting .286 (14-for-49) with four doubles, a triple, four RBI and six runs scored during the 12-game stretch…Coming into today, Bae ranks third among all National League rookies with 22 stolen bases…His next stolen base will give him the most by a Pirates rookie since Tony Womack had 60 in 1997.

ON Q: The Pittsburgh Pirates today added right-handed pitcher Quinn Priester to the Major League taxi squad…Priester is currently rated 92nd among MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects…He struck out 10 batters in relief in his last appearance on September 7 against Toledo…Since being optioned back to Indianapolis on August 15, Priester has a 2.66 ERA (20.1ip/6er) in four appearances (two starts)…Priester’s 116 strikeouts this season with Indianapolis are the fifth-most among all pitchers in the International League.

PLAYING THE FIELD: The Pirates have recorded the fourth-best fielding percentage (.990) in MLB since August 18…The only three teams in MLB with a higher fielding percentage in that time are the Braves (.991), Rays (.991) and Diamondbacks (.991)…According to the Fielding Bible, Pittsburgh’s third basemen lead all of MLB with 22 Defensive Runs Saved (the Rockies are the next closest with 14)…Pittsburgh’s first basemen also lead MLB with nine Defensive Runs Saved this year…Individually, Ke’Bryan Hayes leads all third basemen in MLB with 20 Defensive Runs Saved according to the Fielding Bible (Ryan McMahon ranks second among third basemen with 16 Defensive Runs Saved).

THE BOOK ON BORUCKI: Ryan Borucki has entered games with runners on base in five of his last six appearances…Since making his Pirates debut on June 19, Borucki has inherited the second-most runners (31) in all of MLB behind Cincinnati’s Lucas Sims (34)…Borucki has made seven straight scoreless appearances (8.0ip) while also recording a 2.16 ERA (25.0ip/6er) and .182 batting average against in 21 appearances (two starts) since the All-Star break.

ON THE MEND: Henry Davis went 3-for-3 with an RBI and pair of walks as the starting designated hitter in his second game on rehab Sunday with Indianapolis…Davis, who has been on the 10-day injured list since August 21 with a right hand muscle strain, has now reached base safely in seven of his first eight plate appearances on rehab with Indianapolis.

BAILEY FALTER: The 26-year-old lefthander will make eighth appearance (fifth start) with the Pirates tonight after being acquired from the Phillies on 8/1 in exchange for infielder Rodolfo Castro… Tossed 3.2 scoreless innings of relief in his last appearance on 9/6 vs. Milwaukee…Made his last start on 8/27 vs. the Cubs, allowing six runs in 4.2 innings while losing a 10-1 decision.

VS. WASHINGTON:2-0 with a 2.45 ERA (18.1ip/5er) in six career appearances (three starts) as a member of the Phillies…Has made each of his last three appearances as a starter, which all came last season…Tossed 6.0 scoreless innings while winning a 5-1 decision in his last start against the Nats on 9/30/22.

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