Washington Nationals (15-14) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (15-9)
May 3-5, 2013
Friday @ 7:05 PM ET
Ross Detwiler (1-2, 2.03 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (2-2, 2.83 ERA)
Saturday @ 4:05 PM ET
Stephen Strasburg (1-4, 3.13 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (3-1, 2.83 ERA)
Nationals: Detwiler wasn't sharp in his last outing, allowing four runs (three earned) in five innings against the Reds. Manager Davey Johnson said he would like Detwiler to start using all of his arsenal of pitches.
Pirates: Even without his main weapon, the curve, Burnett fanned six his last time out to retain the NL lead with 48 strikeouts. Before and since joining the Bucs, he's enjoyed pitching at PNC Park, with a career ERA of 2.98 in 23 starts.
Sunday @ 1:35 PM ET
--------Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 5.34 ERA) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (2-1, 3.91 ERA)
Nationals: Strasburg is winless in five straight starts despite allowing three or fewer runs four times, and whiffing 33 in 30 1/3 innings. There was some talk of forearm tightness after his last start, but the ace says he is good to go.
Pirates: The young lefty's light went on two starts ago, and he brings a 13-inning shutout streak into this start. While he posted those zeros on the road, his track record is to be sharper at home, so hopes are high that he can keep it going.
Nationals: Gonzalez has a 7.36 ERA (18 ER in 22 innings) in his last four starts but is 2-2. He struck out a season-best nine his last time out, while also walking a season-high five, in four innings.
Pirates: Rodriguez aims to rebound from "one of those games," when he allowed seven runs on three homers Monday in Milwaukee. He could not control his pitches, and without blow-away stuff, he needs to work ahead in the count to survive.