It'd be pretty easy to overlook the Padres from where the Pirates are right now; they're sandwiched right in the middle of four series against playoff contenders (Reds and D'backs on one side, Dodgers and Cardinals on the other) and they're not very good (49-64). The Pirates can't really afford to look ahead at this point in the season, though, and I hope that that's clear to the team by now. Wins that they get against the Padres offer some protection for wins that maybe they don't get against the Dodgers or Cardinals or whoever.
This three-game set kicks off with Edinson Volquez and James McDonald tonight. McDonald looked mostly like his pre-All Star Break self in his last start against the Reds, even though it resulted in a loss for the Pirates. His control was back, he was missing bats, and he was quite good besides a difficult first inning. Volquez is the prototype for the pitcher that gave the Pirates problems before their offensive explosion in June; he mostly struggles with control but he's capable of big strikeout totals. If the Pirates can't draw walks against him, they'll probably make him look very good tonight.
First pitch is at 7:05. The Reds are about to beat the Cubs, so the Pirates will need a win to stay 2 1/2 back.
I've been saying that the Bucs are going to miss Jeff Lincoln. I wish I was wrong about that but it appears not. Jeff was in such a good groove coming out of the pen for whatever was needed in June/July before the trade for Snider.
Here is the reality: The Pirates pitching is burned out!!!
The Pirates have lost 3 of the last 4. What happened on Tuesday (with the Diamondbacks) and tonight (Padres) has me fearing that the arms are tiring and any chance at the playoffs is slipping away with St. Louis and LA coming on strong.
@MRH1 Burnt is the adjective. Burned is the past tense of the verb. However, I believe British English would use burnt as the past tense instead. So a Briton would always use burnt. Here in the US the question is, is the word in the phrase a verb or an adjective. I would consider it a verb, and thus it would be "burned out".
All of which is to say I'd rather discuss this than the game.
Just saw on twitter: JMac has now given up 30 ER in 31 IP post All Star break. He had 29 ER in 110 IP before it. I knew he's been pitching bad but I didn't think it was that bad.
Excellent AB by Snider. He was fooled on the first two strikes but dialed in on the third and crushed it. I was starting to worry he was Andy LaRoche 2.0 but Andy couldn't drive a ball that far if you threw him a whiffle ball.
It is bizarre how Bedard, AJ, and J-Mac all usually struggle in the 1st. One guy doing that is whatever but three makes you wonder if the Bucs need to stsrt offering a vegan pre-game spread or something.