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The Pittsburgh Pirates experienced an important off day yesterday.
After losing six of their last eight games, the Bucs return home to PNC Park tonight as they begin a three-game series with the team that holds the best record in the National League, the Washington Nationals.
The Nats, who sit 7.5 games ahead of the second-place New York Mets in the NL East, have the most potent offense in baseball. The Nats lead the league with a .282 team batting average, a statistic that seems remarkably high compared to the Pirates .229 team average.
The duo is one and two in the league in batting average and RBIs.
The Bucs are bound to face Strasburg and Roark in the series while the game two starter for the Nats is still to be determined.
There is no question the Nationals serve as a huge obstacle in the Pirates path to regaining their stride and building on their short two game winning streak.
While they’ve hit the ball better the last few games, it’s obvious that the Pirates bats need to come alive if they want to have success in this series.
If the Bucs could take at least one or two of the next three against Washington, it would set them up to possibly improve their record in upcoming series against struggling NL East teams such as the Phillies, Braves and Mets.
The Pirates struggles have been evident this season, but now it’s time for players to step up, play smarter baseball and get themselves out of the NL Central cellar.
Baseball Talk Around the Web
- Brett Smiley of Fox Sports takes a look at the eight most fearsome hitters in Major League Baseball since 2000.
- NBC Sports hired Jose Canseco as an analyst for 25 Oakland Athletics games this season.
- Mike Axisa of CBS Sports examines whether it’s time to worry about four MLB aces.
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