Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Washington0 0 0 3 2 0 1 1 0 7122
Pittsburgh0 0 2 0 3 4 1 0 x 1070
  W: K. Keller (1-1)   L: A. Baldonado (0-1)   S: C. Stratton (4)
3:35 PM PT4:35 PM MT5:35 PM CT6:35 PM ET18:35 ET22:35 GMT6:35 3:35 PM MST5:35 PM EST6:05 PM VEN2:35 UAE (+1)4:35 PM CT, September 11, 2021
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 17,993

Nationals, Pirates going with youth in weekend series

According to STATS
According to STATS

Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. The Nationals swept a three-game set with the Pirates at home in mid-June. Dating back to their last two meetings in 2019, Washington has won five straight contests against Pittsburgh and has allowed one or two runs in each game (six total).
  2. The Nationals won one of three games at Atlanta, their sixth consecutive losing series. That is tied with the Diamondbacks for the longest active streak in MLB. Washington has scored between four and six runs in 10 of their last 12 games.
  3. The Pirates won two of three games against Detroit in Pittsburgh, coming off the back of a six-game winless road trip. Pittsburgh's 50 wins through 140 games this season are its third fewest in the past 50 seasons behind 2010 and 1985 (47 in both seasons).
  4. Lane Thomas has reached base multiple times in 13 games out of 20 played since August 20. That is tied with teammate Juan Soto and two others for the most games with multiple times reaching base over that span.
  5. Ben Gamel has reached base at least twice in each of his last four games, compiling six hits, three walks and a hit-by-pitch. Gamel had one other streak of four of more consecutive games reaching base multiple times this season, a five-game streak in early July (2-6).
  6. Steven Brault has allowed 12 runs, all earned, over 7.0 innings across his last two starts. Over half of the 41 batters Brault faced reached base (.525 opponent OBP) and Brault allowed a .474 batting average with runners in scoring position (9/19).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/10/2021 thru 9/12/2021

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals, meeting this weekend at PNC Park, are in similar spots in that they are evaluating for the future, particularly their young players.

Players such as Pittsburgh third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes, who is in his first full season and hit a walk-off single Friday as the Pirates (51-90) won the series opener 4-3.

"I'm learning a lot. Going through a lot of ups and downs," Hayes told AT&T Sportsnet. "Just trying to learn the best way I can, simplify the game the best I can and have fun."

Pirates general manager Ben Cherington offered an honest outlook for his club.

"I believe we can improve at the major league level next year. We need to be focused on what we can do to go ahead," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "That may involve individual player decisions. That's always part of it.

"So much of it is going to be continued improvement from the players already here, or finding the best way to use players who are already here. ... I think we feel urgency, literally every minute, to get better."

The Nationals (58-83) are leaning on a fair number of inexperienced players.

"Our young guys are learning," Washington manager Dave Martinez said. "You're seeing some bright signs of what they can do and what the future holds for us. I love the way the guys are playing. I hear it all the time from different coaches on other teams, players on other teams, how they respect the way we play the game."

Martinez is expected to return to the dugout Saturday after serving a one-game suspension in the series opener. Martinez received the discipline, which included an undisclosed fine, because of an incident Wednesday at Atlanta when starter Sean Nolan hit the Braves' Freddie Freeman.

Nolan received a five-game suspension and undisclosed fine. He is appealing.

One not-as-young player who has been solid for the Nationals is first baseman Josh Bell, 29, who homered and drew two walks against his former team Friday in his first game back in Pittsburgh.

"It's definitely different being on this side of the stadium. First time walking through this (visitors) tunnel. First time being in that clubhouse back there," Bell said. "Still the same stadium. Still an incredible view. And definitely happy to be back."

Bell has hits in 16 of his past 18 games, with four doubles, six homers, 15 RBIs, 13 walks and eight runs scored.

On Saturday, Washington right-hander Josiah Gray (0-2, 5.65 ERA) is slated to start against Pittsburgh right-hander Wil Crowe (3-7, 5.94 ERA).

Crowe, a former Washington draft pick who will be facing the Nationals for the first time, has lost his last two decisions. His last start was a no-decision Sunday against the Chicago Cubs, when he gave up seven runs in three innings.

On a better note, Crowe ranks fourth in the National League among rookies with 89 strikeouts.

Gray, a rookie who will be making his ninth appearance (eighth start), has not faced Pittsburgh. He has 48 strikeouts against 17 walks in 43 innings.

Like Crowe, Gray is coming off a short, rough outing. Gray allowed six runs and seven hits in three innings Sunday against the New York Mets.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 11, 2021