National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 18th
(All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (4-7) at Arizona Diamondbacks (7-4), 3:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - James McDonald (0-1, 3.86)
Arizona - Daniel Hudson (1-0, 8.71)
(Sports Network) - Pirates right-hander James McDonald didn't stand a chance
last time out, but at least he kept his club out of the history books.
Pittsburgh hopes to give McDonald a better outcome today in the final contest
of a three-game series with the hosting Arizona Diamondbacks.
McDonald has pitched to a manageable 3.86 earned run average through his first
two outings, but has yet to find the win column. After getting a no-decision
versus the Phillies on April 8, the 27-year-old was left without much of a
shot in beating the Giants on Friday.
While McDonald himself allowed three runs on six hits and three walks over 5
2/3 innings, the Pittsburgh offense managed just one hit in a 5-0 loss to San
Francisco and Matt Cain, who went the distance. In fact, the only hit Cain
allowed was a single to McDonald with two outs in the sixth and the Pirates
hurler wasn't that ecstatic after the game of breaking up Cain's perfect game.
"Man ... the pitcher standing in the way of a perfect game. That kind of
stinks. But it happened," McDonald told Pittsburgh's website.
McDonald is 2-2 with a 6.35 ERA in six career meetings with the Diamondbacks,
including two starts.
While McDonald has been keeping his team in games, Arizona starter Daniel
Hudson has struggled to an 8.71 ERA over his first two starts, though he can
still improve on a 1-0 record today.
The right-hander got a win versus the Giants on April 7 after giving up four
runs in 6 2/3 frames of work, then received a no-decision in Colorado on
Friday despite getting charged with six runs, 10 hits and three walks over
just 3 2/3 innings. Hudson gave up a pair of solo homers as he blew leads of
2-0 and 6-2.
The 25-year-old has a solid 2.45 ERA in three career starts against the
Pirates, but is 0-1 versus them.
Hudson could be without some key offensive support today as both Chris Young
and Justin Upton are day-to-day with injuries. Upton missed last night's 5-4
loss with a jammed thumb, while Young drove in a run before exiting in the
fourth with a shoulder injury after crashing into the center field wall
following a spectacular catch.
Minus two of its top outfielders, Arizona couldn't hold off a Pittsburgh rally
that saw Andrew McCutchen cap a four-hit game by driving in the go-ahead run
in the top of the ninth inning.
Garrett Jones went 3-for-4 with a home run and Neil Walker added three hits
and an RBI for the Bucs, who had lost six of seven coming in.
"When unexpected things happen, that's when you find out what kind of ballclub
you are," McCutchen said. "The bullpen stepped up and did its job."
Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald, Jason Kubel also drove in runs for the
Diamondbacks, who had a two-game win streak snapped.
These two clubs split six meetings last season, with Arizona taking two of
three at home.
04/18 10:40:50 ET