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Series Preview: Giants at Pirates

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

This isn’t how the narrative was supposed to go, exactly, though it’s not as wild as some may have thought. The Pirates (21-16) are looking pretty solid as Andrew McCutchen returns to Pittsburgh as a member of the 19-19 San Francisco Giants.

The Giants added Cutch and Evan Longoria, doubling down on an aging roster, and a .500 record isn’t all that wild on their end. The Pirates, though, have something to be proud of as fans return to PNC Park like church on Easter.

The Pirates, coming off a two-game sweep of the White Sox (more a slight dusting than a full-on sweep, perhaps) have won nine of their last 14, having weathered a tough section of the schedule. They return to Pittsburgh, where they’ll play 15 of their next 18 games.

McCutchen comes back sporting a .250/.377/.397 line with three home runs in 151 plate appearances. He’s been manning right field (what a concept) for the Giants, who just got swept in four games in Philadelphia.

While a decent record through a month and a half isn’t the end-all, be-all, it should make a weekend like this a bit more pleasant. It should be about re-litigating the Pirates’ moves this past offseason, at least I hope. One thing that will be particularly nice is that there really is no split about the reaction McCutchen should get. He’ll be welcomed home like a king, and rightfully so, and we’ll get to enjoy a quality Pirates team. It’s possible to do both, you know.

Say there, while we’re at it, let’s check in on a few more former Pirates on the Giants roster:

  • Alen Hanson: .263/.293/.526 — Getting starts at second base with Joe Panik injured.
  • Gorkys Hernandez: .295/.317/.344 — Finding his way into reps in center field with Austin Jackson struggling.
  • Tony Watson: 1-1, 0.57 ERA, 1.57 FIP, 9.77 K/9, 1.72 BB/9, 15.2 IP — Has allowed one run this season in a set-up role.
  • Mark Melancon — No timetable for return after surgery for a strained flexor last fall.

— Stats through Wednesday.

Schedule

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — Andrew Suarez (1-1, 3.06 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (2-3, 4.42); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. — Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 6.62) vs. Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.12); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — Derek Holland (1-4, 5.66) vs. Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.84); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Poll

How many games will the Pirates win in this series?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    3
    (107 votes)
  • 68%
    2
    (409 votes)
  • 9%
    1
    (55 votes)
  • 3%
    0
    (23 votes)
594 votes total Vote Now