Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates Battle in a Duel of Young Teams

By Justin Söderberg

The Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates are arguably two of the best young teams in Major League Baseball. The two teams will square off in a three-game weekend series beginning on Friday night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Penn.

The Pirates are off to another great start again this season at 16-12, and are hoping to make this their first season above .500 in over 20 years. The Nationals are definitely one of the brightest teams in the league after their playoff run last season. After starting the season off hot, they have recently dropped a bit, hovering around the .500 mark at 15-14.

The Nationals will call upon Ross Detwiler to start game one of the three-game series on Friday night. Detwiler started the season off with a 0.90 ERA in his first three starts, but has lost his last two starts and is hoping his offense can get some runs on the board to give him some support.

This season, the left hander is 1-2 with a 2.03 ERA over 31 innings of work. The Pirates are hitting only .193 against lefties this season, with Andrew McCutchen batting only .174 against left-handed pitching.

Detwiler is seeking his first career win on the road against the NL Central. The Nationals starting pitcher has gone 0-6 with a 3.98 ERA in eight starts over his career.

A.J. Burnett will get the start for the Pirates at PNC Park. Burnett is 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA this season while going 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in three home starts. The 36-year-old veteran has gone 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 15 appearances against the Nationals over his career.

Burnett seems to have turned things around after falling on his face while in a New York Yankees Uniform. The Pirates starting pitcher has won his last two starts and has completed at least five innings in his first six outings this season.

Bryce Harper will be in the lineup on Friday night after leaving Wednesday’s game with a bruise under his left shoulder blade. He was back in the lineup on Thursday after his X-rays came back negative. Look for him to make an impact on Friday night in Pittsburgh.

Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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