Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates (1-1) have an excellent opportunity to begin their 2012 campaign with a series win over the Philadelphia Phillies (1-1), if the Pirates bats can wake up from an early-season slumber.
Pittsburgh has begun the season hitting just .131, including a woeful one for nine with runners in scoring position. The only Pirates batter producing at the plate is Alex Presley, who has three of the teams eight total hits on the season.
James McDonald will take the mound for the Pirates on Sunday. Last season, MacDonald was 9-9 with a 4.21 ERA in 31 starts, striking out 142 batters, setting personal records in wins and strikeout.
Vance Worley, a gem unearthed by the Phillies last season, will oppose McDonald on the mound. Worley went 11-3 with an 3.01 ERA for Philadelphia last season, before shifting to the bullpen for the playoffs.
Here is what you need to know for today's game:
Philadelphia: Vance Worley (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Pittsburgh: James McDonald (0-0, 0.00 ERA
Game Time: 1:35 PM ET, April 8, 2012
Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: FOX PITT
For more on the Pittsburgh Pirates, check out SB Nation's Pirates blog Bucs Dugout. For more on the Philadelphia Phillies, check out SB Nation's Phillies blog The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly.