Pittsburgh Pirates vs Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB: 09.40 PM EST
June 12, 2018
Proceedings got a little chippy in Monday night’s series opener at Chase Field, as five batters were hit by a pitch in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 9-5 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. The Buccos led 5-0 as late as the seventh inning, but Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle chose to retaliate to hit batsmen earlier in the ballgame and sparked the NL West leaders’ game-winning rally. Hurdle passed his actions off after the game as baseball tradition, saying such retaliation “has been going on for 135 years”. It remains to be seen how the elevated tensions may affect the remainder of the series, as undoubtedly both dugouts will be warned beforehand about further escalation.
STARTING PITCHERS: Pittsburgh RHP Trevor Williams (5-3, 4.18 ERA) vs. Arizona RHP Clay Buchholz (1-1, 1.88 ERA)
Right-hander Trevor Williams will take the hill for the scuffling Pirates, who have dropped 17 of 23 ballgames and tumbled from first place in the NL Central all the way down to fourth. The Snakes will send Clay Buchholz out for his fifth start of the season, the beleaguered former Boston standout who has battled injuries off and on since early in his career. Buchholz has been good in a starting role for Arizona thus far, with a WHIP of just 0.83 thus far, albeit in a small sample size (just 24 innings pitched in 2018).
Pittsburgh has settled into the form that most expected them to show in 2018, after an unprecedented hot offensive start had catapulted them to the top of the competitive NL Central in April. Since then, offensive production has been hard to come by for Hurdle’s club, but the opposite has been true for their opponents tonight. Arizona managed just eight wins total in the entire month of May, and have already matched that amount through the first two weeks of June. Perennial MVP candidate 1B Paul Goldschmidt is hitting over .500 in the past week after an uncharacteristically slow start to the season, and the D’backs lineup is surrounded by weapons that have made their attack formidable as the season stretches into the summer months. I like Arizona to send Pittsburgh to their eight straight series loss on Tuesday night.
Our Free MLB Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks ML