The first game will be a night game on Saturday, with a start time of 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound their number two man in the rotation, Cliff Lee (0-0, -.–) who is coming of a 17-8 2011 season, with an ERA of 2.40 and a WHIP of 1.03. Lee pitched in 32 games, all starts, for a total of 232.2 innings, in which he struck out 238 batters, while walking only 42. Lee will be out to see if he can lead the Phils to a 2-0 start on the season while trying to collect his first win of 2012. The Pirates will try to counter with Jeff Karstens (0-0, -.–) who had ended the 2011 season with a 9-9 record, with a 3.38 ERA and a WHIP of 1.21. Karstens appeared in 30 games, 26 of which were starts, in which he threw a total of 162.1 innings, striking out just 96 batters, while walking 33. Karstens will be trying to see if he can even up the series at a game apiece.
The second of the final two games of the three game set will be an Sunday afternoon game, with a start time of 1:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (0-0, -.–), who will be in his second full season as a Phil, as he is coming off a 2011 campaign with a record of 11-3, with a 3.01 ERA and a WHIP of 1.23, as he appeared in 25 games, 21 of which were starts, as he accumulated a total of 131.2 innings, striking out 119 batters, while walking only 50. Worley will be trying to prove that he had deserved his third place showing in the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year balloting. The Pirates will send to the mound James McDonald (0-0, -.–), who in 2011 had a record of 9-9 with an ERA of 4.21, as he had 31 starts, totaling 171 innings, as he struck out 142 batters, while walking 78. He will be out to show that he can pitch better than his record would show.
The Phils will be out to win at least one of these two games, to leave Pittsburgh with a winning record, before starting their opening home stand with a three-game series with the Miami (formerly Florida) Marlins.