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Series Preview: Pirates at Padres

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates (50-52) opened a cupcake stretch of the schedule with a clunker, dropping two of three to the Giants. A 1-5 for the season against the second-worst team in the league is sure to haunt.

The Padres are a different, more traditional kind of bad than the Giants are — a few prospects mixed in with some has-beens and guys you’ve never heard of. They were expected to be bad, and they’re performing to that expectation. They’re in a bit of a delayed rebuild, after rock star A.J. Preller’s ill-advised spending spree that left the organization without the likes of Trea Turner, Joe Ross and Yasmani Grandal, pieces that would make this year’s team a lot more attractive.

They’re 12-10 in July, having split four games with the Mets during the week.


Friday, 10:10 p.m. - Chad Kuhl (3-7, 4.92 ERA) vs. Travis Wood (1-3, 6.91 with the Royals), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Saturday, 8:40 p.m. - Ivan Nova (10-7, 3.62) vs. Dinelson Lamet (4-4, 5.92), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Sunday, 4:40 p.m. - Gerrit Cole (8-7, 4.12) vs. Clayton Richard (5-11, 5.37), TV: AT&T SportsNet


45-57 (38-64 Pythag, 3.84 RS/G, 5.12 RA/G)


The Padres lineup, the least productive in the league anyway, is missing some notable names due to injury — Yangervis Solarte, Austin Hedges, Travis Jankowski and Alex Dickerson, though only Solarte (.268/.349/.425) has been producing. Ryan Schimpf’s swing-and-miss ways got him sent down to Triple-A. Twenty-two-year-old Manuel Margot (.272/.315/.401, 22 years old) and 25-year-old former first-round pick Hunter Renfroe (.233/.287/.475, 20 HR) are probably the most interesting players in this lineup, getting full seasons under their belts with mixed results. Neither Jabari Blash nor Franchy Cordero have shown much reality to their high-ceiling potentials; Cordero, 22 years old and back in Triple-A, has a bit more time than Blash, 28, to put it together.


The starting rotation, a bit of a sad joke coming out of spring training with Jered Weaver, among others, still isn’t particularly thrilling. The Pirates are scheduled to miss the solid Jhoulys Chacin and Luis Perdomo. The Pirates liked Clayton Richard’s (6.36 K/9, 2.62 BB/9) control, picking him up in 2015 and stashing him in Triple-A, where he was solid before they set him free for an opportunity with the Cubs. He leads San Diego in innings pitched this season. Dinelson Lamet has good defense-independent numbers (11.85 K/9, 3.48 BB/9) in 10 starts. Travis Wood will eat innings, coming over from Kansas City with Matt Strahm and second-base prospect Esteury Ruiz for Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter. Maurer and Buchter are losses for a decent Padres pen, and Brad Hand (11.60 K/9, 2.42 BB/9) shouldn’t remain with the team past the trade deadline.


The Pirates can’t weather too many missed chances against bad teams. There’s still room for error — it’s July, so a sweep isn’t a must — but the Padres have little to play for. San Diego’s in a much better situation than it was in with Matt Kemp and James Shields, but the Pirates would be prudent to pound the Padres into the ground.


How does this series go?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Pirates sweep!
    (121 votes)
  • 34%
    2-1 Pirates
    (90 votes)
  • 10%
    2-1 Padres
    (27 votes)
  • 7%
    Padres sweep
    (20 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now