Washington Nationals vs. Pirates Preview (7/15-7/17)

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Jun 29, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6) runs home to score a run against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Safeco Field. Pittsburgh defeated Seattle, 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6) runs home to score a run against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Safeco Field. Pittsburgh defeated Seattle, 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Jun 29, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the New York Mets in the sixth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Chad Kuhl (1-0, 6.08) vs. Max Scherzer (10-6, 3.03) – 1:35 p.m, WUSA9/MASN

Sunday’s start will be fourth of Kuhl’s young career. If there’s one thing to be sure of, he won’t be intimidated by going up against Scherzer. In his debut on June 26 against the Dodgers, he got the win over Clayton Kershaw on Sunday Night Baseball.

The 23-year-old right-hander went only 2.1 innings in his last start against the Cubs on July 10. He gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out one, and walked one in a no-decision. The ninth round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft was 6-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 14 starts at triple-A and had 59 strikeouts to only 16 walks.

According to Fangraphs, Kuhl has an average velocity of nearly 94 miles per hour on his fastball to go with a slider and changeup.

More from District on Deck

Before pitching in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, Scherzer went seven innings, gave up one unearned run on three hits, struck out nine, and walked two to pick up his tenth win of the season. He got into trouble in the first inning, but was able to be dominant after that.

On Tuesday night, Scherzer struck out one in a 1-2-3 sixth inning in which he hit 98 miles per hour on the radar gun. In his first two starts during the month of July, he is 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA and has held opponents to a .156 batting average.

Last season, Scherzer did throw a no-hitter at Nats Park against the Pirates. He Is 4-2 with a 3.08 ERA in nine career games against Pittsburgh. McCutchen is 4-for-20 with a home run and three RBI’s against Scherzer, but he also has ten strikeouts.

Next: District Daily: Nats Looking To Bolster Bullpen, Offense

Prediction: It will be interesting to see how the Washington Nationals adjust to seeing Kuhl for the first time. While I don’t think Scherzer will throw a no-hitter this time around, I do think he will have another strong outing to help the Washington Nationals take two out of three games in this series.

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