Series Preview: at Pittsburgh Pirates

PHI: 34-22, 1st in NL East; PIT: 26-28, 4th in NL Central

When: June 3-5
Where: PNC Park (Pittsburgh, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Cole Hamels (7-2, 3.01) vs Jeff Karstens (3-4, 3.58)
Saturday: Kyle Kendrick (3-3, 3.38) vs Charlie Morton (5-2, 2.51)
Sunday: Roy Halladay (7-3, 2.56) vs James McDonald (3-3, 4.85)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, CSN
Saturday, 7:05, CSN
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

Player to Watch – Andrew McCutchen: McCutchen is one of the most exciting young players in baseball. The 24-year-old is batting .256, .030 points below his career average. But he’s still leading the Pirates with nine homers and has driven in 27 RBIs (on pace to shatter his highs in both).

Overview: This series can go two ways for the Phils. One, they could finish games instead of suffering disappointing losses like the one against Washington yesterday. Or, two, the mental lapse continues and they suffer a series loss to Pittsburgh – or even worse, a sweep.

The Phils are traveling to the gorgeous PNC Park. PNC Park is one of the best parks I have ever been to with some of the greatest scenery anyone will ever see at a stadium. Located near the three rivers, you get a wonderful view of Pittsburgh in the skyline.

Saturday presents the best match-up of the series. Mainly because the Phils are throwing their worst pitcher against the Pirates best pitcher. But there’s more! Kyle Kendrick is 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his career against the Pirates. Charlie Morton is enjoying a great start to what will be his first full season as a starter with a 5-2 record and 2.51 ERA.

Baseball is semi-interesting in Pittsburgh these first two months. With the Pirates hovering just a bit under .500 and their team stocked full of young, potential talent, the fans are starting to gain some interest again in a team that hasn’t had a winning record let alone make the post season since 1992.

Besides McCutchen, Neil Walker is one of Pittsburgh’s best hitters. With a team high .270 average and 33 RBIs along with six homers, Walker is the guy the Pirates rely on for offense.

The Phillies will be getting back center fielder Shane Victorino this series. He will add speed back in the line up and supply a much needed boost at defense with his glove and arm. It will be interesting to see the playing time rookies Domonic Brown and John Mayberry see.


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