Jul 22, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT
|Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER|
With Rick Eckstein out as hitting coach, the Nationals will move forward under the tutelage of Rick Schu, though the former minor-league coordinator won't arrive in Washington until tomorrow. Whether the move makes any sort of difference at all will be hard to judge tonight, but perhaps the players respond from the wakeup call. They host the Pirates in the first of a four-game series, with right-hander Charlie Morton (1-2, 3.19 ERA) on the mound for Pittsburgh.
Morton is making just his seventh start this season, his sixth year in the major leagues. He has faced the Nats three times in his career, going 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA across 15 1/3 innings pitched. However the Nats respond to the hitting coach change, they will likely need a good deal of runs anyway. Dan Haren (4-10, 5.61) is making the start as he continues to try and turn his season around.
To be fair, Haren is coming off two consecutive solid outings. He allowed two earned runs in five innings at Philly on July 8 and pitched six scoreless frames in Miami on July 13, but both games were losses for the Nats as the offense scored a combined three runs in the two games. The Pirates have scored the least runs of any team in the month of July (47), so perhaps tonight presents an opportunity for Haren.
Updates to come…
PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 186
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 89 degrees, Wind 5 mph RF to LF
LF Bryce Harper
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
NL EAST STANDINGS
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