PHI: 34-40, 5th in NL East; PIT: 38-33, 2nd in NL Central
When: June 25-28
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, PA)
Monday: Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.04) vs Jeff Karstens (0-1, 4.50)
Tuesday: Vance Worley (3-4, 2.78) vs Erik Bedard (4-7, 4.13)
Wednesday: TBD vs James McDonald (6-3, 2.19)
Thursday: Kyle Kendrick (2-7, 5.24) vs A.J. Burnett (8-2, 3.24)
Monday, 7:05, CSN
Tuesday, 7:05, CSN
Wednesday, 7:05, CSN
Thursday, 1:05, CSN
All Games on 94.1 FM
Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Player to Watch – CF Andrew McCutchen: McCutchen is having a career season thus far, and should be starting in the All-Star Game for the NL with how well he’s hitting right now. McCutchen’s average is up to .340 with 13 home runs and 45 RBIs after going on a 10-game tear in which he’s hitting .436 (17-for-39).
Series Overview: The schedule isn’t going to get any easier for the Phillies, who finish off the current home stand they’re in with four games against the Pirates.
The Phillies are 3-3 on that home stand, and face the Pirates, who took the season’s opening series in Pittsburgh, 2-1.
Pittsburgh is currently in the middle of a midseason division race with the Reds, resting a game out of first place. They can attribute that to the early MVP candidate McCutchen and some strong pitching that will be on display this series.
Third baseman Pedro Alvarez is second on the Pirates with 35 RBIs as well as tied for the lead in homers with 13. Second baseman Neil Walker and first baseman Garrett Jones have a combined 13 homers and 57 RBIs.
Wednesday and Thursday will feature two of the Pirates starters that are behind their midseason success. James McDonald and the acquired A.J. Burnett have been strong all season, racking up 14 total wins.
McDonald has been especially dominant, going 6-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 14 starts. He’s leading the team with 90 1/3 innings pitched and 83 strikeouts while being among the leaders in all of baseball with a 0.95 WHIP.