August 10, 2010

Series Preview: San Diego Padres

The Pirates make their only trip to San Diego for three games this week. Actually they've already made the trip, making the tense of that sentence horribly incorrect. The Padres are 64-46 and in first place but have lost six of ten. With their lead over the Giants trimmed to 1.5 games, San Diego has to be looking at this Pirates series like a suburb named after two Spanish words and that is something San Diego likes.

Since their series at PNC Park San Diego has added a couple of players via trade. Ryan Ludwick (.272/.334/.460) is now batting cleanup behind MVP candidate Adrian Gonzalez (.293/.387/.509). Miguel Tejada (.267/.306/.361) is now their #2 hitter which is a brilliant acquisition, assuming he can play shortstop ahead of Khalil Greene for the 2005 Padres. San Diego has the best team ERA in baseball at 3.30 which is worrisome since the Pirates aren't that good at hitting pitching.

San Diego Padres - Tuesday 10:05, Wednesday 10:05, Thursday 6:35
Tonight the Padres go with lefthander Wade LeBlanc (5-10, 3.61) against the Pirates' Jeff Karstens (2-7, 4.47). These guys are the masters of keeping their teams in games which are ultimately lost, but someone has to win. Andy LaRoche is playing first base, his brother's old position, which should bring a tear to many an eye. My pick is the Pirates.

Wednesday, James McDonald (1-1, 4.61) makes his second Pittsburgh start against Kevin Correia (8-7, 4.81). McDonald looked great against the Rockies and it is nice to have a strikeout pitcher in the rotation. Correia is the Padres' only pitcher with an ERA above 4.00 and still would be the ace of the Pirates staff. My pick is the Pirates.

Thursday, the Pirates' Zach Duke (5-10, 5.32) hopes to turn his season around against Jon Garland (10-8, 3.55). This is also a day game after a night game so that means Ryan Doumit will be behind the plate trying to shut down the #2 ranked running game in the league. Duke has a 6.50 ERA in away games. Garland has a 2.69 ERA at home. I have heard of regression to the mean and my pick is the Pirates.

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