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Nationals Vs. Pirates: Livan Hernandez, Jeff Karstens Face Off In Battle Of Soft-Tossers

The Pirates kick off a home series against the Washington Nationals Friday night at 7:05 PM.

The Nationals are coming off a split series against the Cardinals and a 2-0 series sweep of the Brewers. Two of their last six games have been postponed, and they also had a day off on Monday, so they should be very well-rested. Their starter will be Livan Hernandez, who started for them on Opening Day and has three quality starts in his four outings this season.

The Bucs' starter will be Jeff Karstens, who is pitching for the injured Ross Ohlendorf. Karstens pitched fairly well in three relief outings this year before making his first start against the Reds.

Neither Hernandez nor Karstens have much in the way of stuff, so expect a ton of 87-MPH fastballs. It shouldn't be a particularly exciting game, at least not from the standpoint of the starting pitching, but it represents a decent chance for the Bucs to bounce back after an ugly series against the Marlins.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.