Fresh off a hotly contested doubleheader Saturday, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals square off Sunday in a battle of teams trying to get over the hump. Pittsburgh (42-41) triumphed in Game 1 of the old-school doubleheader 5-3, with the Nats normally solid bullpen being the scapegoat. Washington (42-42) was victorious in Game 2, 4-3, due to a clutch eight inning single from veteran backstop Ivan Rodriguez.
The Nationals send Jason Marquis (7-2, 3.62 ERA) to the mound on a hot and humid DC summer day. In his career, Marquis is 12-6 with a 3.60 ERA against the Pirates in 23 starts.
The Pirates answer with surprise ace Kevin Correia, 10-6 on the year with a 3.79 ERA. Random baseball stat: if Correia were to win Sunday, he would be Pittsburgh's first 11-game winner prior to the All-Star break since Jim Bibby in 1980.
Before the game, the 2011 MLB All-Star lineup was announced, and sadly for Nationals fans, only Tyler Clippard was selected from the hometown squad. Meanwhile, Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa will get to spend the next week asking if they feel "snubbed", a term saved for this specific 10 day period every July.