Playing the numbers

Over the Nationals' last 16 games, they've gotten 15 quality starts.

In that 16-game span, the Nats are 8-8.

I'm not trying to pile on here, I'm just saying.

Stuck on a three-game losing streak, the Nats send their ace to the mound tonight, looking to avoid getting swept by the Pirates.

It's a very small sample size, but Stephen Strasburg has allowed only one hit to a player currently on the Pirates' roster. That guy is Neil Walker, who is 1-for-3 with a strikeout off Strasburg.

Overall, in 14 at-bats off Strasburg, the six Pirates that have faced him (Walker, Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes, Garrett Jones, Jeff Karstens and Andrew McCutchen) are 1-for-14 with six Ks.

This will be the first time Strasburg has faced the Pirates since his major league debut back on June 8 of 2010. You might remember that seven-inning, 14-strikeout performance.

The key number tonight - two. When Strasburg is given two or more runs of support while in the game, the Nats are 13-1 in his career.

Washington will face Pirates righty Kevin Correia tonight. Correia is 1-2 this season with a 3.38 ERA.

Danny Espinosa is 2-for-6 with two strikeouts in his career off Correia, but it wouldn't surprise me if manager Davey Johnson gave Espinosa the day off today. Espinosa probably has qualified for one of Johnson's "mental breaks" during his recent slide.

One quick promotional note: I'll be co-hosting "Nats Xtra" tonight, so be sure to tune into the pre- and postgame shows and feel free then come back to the blog to make fun of all my screw-ups.

Should be fun.

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