- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 5, 2007

PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Where: RFK Stadium

Today: 7:05 p.m., RHP Shawn Chacon (1-0, 2.84) vs. LHP Mike Bacsik (1-1, 2.29).

Tomorrow: 7:05 p.m., LHP Zach Duke (2-6, 5.73) vs. LHP Micah Bowie (2-2, 4.11).

Thursday: 1:05 p.m., RHP Ian Snell (5-4, 2.94) vs. LHP Matt Chico (3-4, 5.13).

Series breakdown: In their never-ending quest to reach .500 for the first time since Barry Bonds wore black and gold, the Pirates again are lagging below sea level. This team, though, seems to have enough talent finally to do it. Snell and lefty Tom Gorzelanny (6-3, 2.53) have been brilliant atop the rotation, Chacon has done well since replacing horrid ex-Nationals pitcher Tony Armas, and All-Stars Jason Bay (.312, 10 home runs, 42 RBI) and Freddy Sanchez (.291, 18 RBI) are solid as usual. The problem areas have been the back end of the rotation (Duke, Paul Maholm) and the bullpen, in which closer Salomon Torres (0-2, 5.13) has been benched in favor of Matt Capps (2-2, 2.97).

— Mark Zuckerman

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