The Pittsburgh Pirates welcomed the NL west leading San Diego Padres for the final three games of a ten game home stand. The Buccos had taken two out of three from the Astros and split a four game series with the Brewers. It would be a big momentum swing for the Pirates in the second half of the series if they would be able to take at least one from the Padres and finish the home stand at .500.
Friday, July 23: On this night one bad inning would lead the Pirates to defeat. Aaron Cunningham would lead off the second inning with a triple and be the first of four runs that would cross the plate for the Padres. These four runs would end Paul Maholm’s streak of sixteen consecutive scoreless innings. This inning may have been prevented if Jose Tabata, who was filling in for the injured Andrew McCutchen, didn’t misread the ball. After the triple the Padres were able to get a walk, two singles, a double, and sacrifice flies by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Adrian Gonzalez. Those four runs would be just enough as the Padres would go on to win by the score of 5-3. Not much went well for the Buccos this night. The defense misplayed some hit balls, the pitching was sporadic in times when they needed to close the door, and Pedro Alvarez was the only player with more than one hit in the lineup.
Saturday, July 24: This would be a bad night to begin with and after the rain delay things would only get worse. The Pirates are the type of team that cannot afford to give their opponent extra opportunities to score runs. Pirate’s third baseman Pedro Alvarez would misplay a grounder by Hairston Jr. that would begin a three run six inning for the Padres. This would happen again during the rain interrupted eighth inning. This time the error would occur across the diamond when Garrett Jones made an error to allow the onslaught of five runs the Padres would score this inning. To add insult to injury new Pirates reliever Sean Gallagher would commit a balk with the bases loaded allowing another run to score. This 9-2 win assured the Padres of their 10th consecutive series win at PNC Park. It’s hard to believe that the Pirates had a two run lead with solo home runs by Jose Tabata and Delwyn Young. Errors and pitching mistakes lead to another Buccos defeat by Padres.
Sunday, July 25: Sundays are typically rough for the Pirates and this day would be no different as the Padres went on to sweep the Buccos by defeating them 6-3. The win would go to Wade LeBlanc. This would be his first win in six weeks. Pirate’s pitcher Brad Lincoln would give up five runs in the third inning allowing his ERA to balloon to 9.61. After the start he was quickly demoted back to Triple-A. After almost blowing a nine run lead on Tuesday against the Brewers, Lincoln would blow a two run lead on this afternoon. Those two runs came off a homerun by Ronny Cedeno. The only bright side of this game for Pirates fans was seeing Andrew McCutchen back in the lineup.
The Padres continued their dominance of the Pirates at PNC Park and upped their record to 23-9 since PNC Park was built in 2001. Another disturbing stat for the Pirates is the fact that their starting pitchers have a record of 18-53 this season. This goes to show that things will not turn around for them until they are able to have a stable consistent pitching staff. After completing this home stand with a 4-6 record, the Pirates hit the road with a trip to Colorado and St. Louis. Hopefully they are able to play better on the road during the second half of the season than they did in the first.
Current Record: 34-64
And…As Always…Lets Go Bucs!!!!!