No Nat has ever faced Locke, so he has that. And the lefty is riding a 13 inning scoreless streak coming into today; his bulb went on a couple of starts ago. Strasburg has faced the Bucs twice and struck out 27 batters in 13 frames. But the Washington wunderkind is 0-3 in his last four trips to the mound. He's pitched pretty well during that span (2.55 ERA), but without much support from the National bats.
The game starts at 4:05 and be aired by Fox Sports and The Fan 93.7.
Pirate lineup: Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Russell Martin C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Jordy Mercer 2B, Clint Barmes SS and Jeff Locke P.
Holy Moly! Brandon Inge is on the bench and Jordy Mercer is starting; dunno which is the bigger surprise.
Nat lineup: Danny Espinosa 2B, Ian Desmond SS, Bryce Harper LF, Ryan Zimmerman 3B, Adam LaRoche 1B, Tyler Moore RF, Wilson Ramos C, Roger Bernadina CF and Stephen Strasburg P.
A little shook up from yesterday with a lefty on the hill and Denard Span out after taking a couple of fouls off his foot last night. Still, not all that potent if Locke can control the middle of the lineup.
- JT is likely out for the Washington series (EDIT - he may be available to pinch hit). If his hammy isn't ready to go by Tuesday when Seattle comes to town, he may join Neil Walker on the DL. Clint Hurdle has batted pitchers three times and then not sent them back out while also using J-Mac & Wandy as pinch hitters in response to being short on the pine with the recent injuries to Walker, Travis Snider (who is back) and now Tabata. So we're guessing the king of the double switch would like a full complement on the bench.
- Jeff Karstens is heading to Florida to begin extended spring training at Pirate City as the next step in his rehab. Charlie Morton is coming to Pittsburgh so the docs can poke around his sore arm that acted up last night while pitching for Indy in a rehab start, though it's thought to be a minor setback.
- Jason Werth is expected to miss the series with a sore hammy.
- Gerrit Cole starts for Indy and Stolmy Pimentel for Altoona today.