Saturday, June 22, 2024

MLB Preview: Washington Nationals (65-81) at Pittsburgh Pirates (68-78)

WASHINGTON NATIONALS NOTES:

No team release available.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES NOTES:

THE PIRATES:..edged the Nationals 7-6 last night in the third game of their four-game series (the Bucs are 19-14 in one-run games this year after going 21-27 in 2022)…Have gone 10-5 since 8/28, which is tied for the third-best record in MLB along with the Orioles (the Yankees are an MLB-best 11-4 in that time)…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 27-24 in their last 51 games since losing each of their first five games following the All-Star break.

K IS KELLER: Mitch Keller comes into today ranked sixth in the National League and tied for 10th in all of MLB with a career-high 191 strikeouts….The last Pirate to finish among the top 10 leaders in strikeouts in MLB was A.J. Burnett with 209 in 2013.

ABOUT TODAY’S STARTER: Righthander Mitch Keller will make the 100th appearance of his big league career in today’s game…This is also Keller’s 30th start of the season, which is a new single-season high…Keller has thrown a career-high 174.2 innings this season, which ranks eighth among all National League pitchers coming into today…Keller’s 11 wins are tied for the 11th-most in the National League…The last two Pirates to win more than 11 games in a season were Trevor Williams and Jameson Taillon with 14 apiece in 2018.

IN THE BIG INNING: The Pirates banged out six hits during their four-run first inning last night…It was the third time this season Pittsburgh collected six hits in an inning…It was also the first time the Bucs banged out six-plus hits in the first inning of a game since August 29, 2019, at Colorado (seven hits).

REYNOLDS’ RBI: Bryan Reynolds has knocked in a run in each of his last five games, which is the longest active streak in MLB… Reynolds has recorded an RBI in six straight games on two occasions this season, doing so from April 2-8 and again from April 22-30…Pittsburgh is 30-18 this season in games when Reynolds knocks in at least one run.

REYNOLDS ROLLING: Bryan Reynolds is hitting at a .345 clip (19-for-55) over his last 14 games dating back to August 29…The only three players in MLB with a higher batting average in that time (minimum 50 at-bats) are Philadelphia’s Trea Turner (.393), San Diego’s Xander Bogaerts (.377) and Seiya Suzuki of the Chicago Cubs (.350).

NO JOSHING AROUND: Joshua Palacios went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored last night while starting in right field…Since August 26, Palacios is hitting .351 (13-for-37) with a triple, home run and five RBI in 10 starts.

SUWINSKI SURGING: Jack Suwinski comes into today with a season-high tying six-game hitting streak, going 8-for-21 (.381) with three doubles, a home run and six RBI…Suwinski hit safely in a career-high eight straight games last year as a rookie…Suwinski comes into today with the sixth-highest OPS (.811) among all center fielders in MLB (Cody Bellinger is first with a .940 OPS). BAE, BAE, BAE: Ji Hwan Bae comes into today hitting safely in each of his last eight and in 13 of his last 14 games…Bae is hitting .281 (16-for-57) with five doubles, a triple, four RBI and eight runs scored during the 14-game stretch.

THIS AND THAT: The Pirates have won five straight and 10 of their last 11 games when scoring at least four runs…Pittsburgh has won eight of its last 10 games when the team does not make an error…The Pirates will look to win their first four-game series since sweeping the Reds here at PNC Park from April 20-23…Since then the Pirates have gone 0-3-2 in five four-game series.

ON THE MEND: Henry Davis went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored while playing right field in his fourth game on rehab Wednesday with Indianapolis…Davis, who has been on the 10-day injured list since August 21 with a right hand muscle strain, is now 8-for-13 with a home run, two RBI and five walks after his first four games on rehab with Indianapolis.

STARTING PITCHER – 23 – RHP MITCH KELLER
MITCH KELLER: The 27-year-old righthander will make his 30th start of the season today…He allowed eight runs in 5.0 innings and lost an 8-2 decision in his last start Friday night against the Braves at Truist Park.

vs. WASHINGTON: 0-1 in two career starts (both in 2022)…Was charged with the loss on 4/15 at PNC Park after allowing four runs on seven hits with in 4.0 innings pitched…He also allowed five runs (4er) in 4.0-plus innings but had a no-decision in an 8-7 comeback win on 6/29 at Nationals Park.

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