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Pirates Vs. Phillies: Pittsburgh Hopes To Spoil Chase Utley's 2012 Debut

The Pittsburgh Pirates play the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night as Chase Utley will make his 2012 debut.

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 21:  James McDonald #53 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the game on June 21, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 21: James McDonald #53 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the game on June 21, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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The Philadelphia Phillies have had a very lackluster first half of the 2012 season. Mainly due to injuries to key players, the Phillies find themselves in fourth place in the NL East, eight games behind the division-leading Washington Nationals. One of those key players, second baseman Chase Utley, is projected to make his first start of the 2012 season on Wednesday.

The Pittsburgh Pirates do have the pitcher with the third-best ERA in the Major's in James McDonald (6-3, 2.19 ERA) going to the hill. McDonald is coming off a complete game against the Minnesota Twins on June 21, allowing only one run on six hits.

The Phillies on the other hand send pitcher Raul Valdes (2-0, 1.84 ERA) to the hill. Valdes, normally a reliever, is being used with the Phillies' rotation being pushed up because of a doubleheader on Sunday. Valdes has made 12 appearances this season, allowing only three runs on eight hits in 14 and two-thirds innings, striking out 17 batters.

The game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Citizens Bank Park. Television coverage will be provided by ROOT Sports and radio coverage will be provided by 93.7 KDKA FM.

Read more about the Pirates at Bucs Dugout and check out The Good Phight for more on the Phillies. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball. Also subscribe to the SB Nation Youtube channel for video commentary.

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