By Jared Lankes
The Pirates picked themselves up, to an extent, by winning a series over the Cincinnati Reds. While not a big deal normally, it came after a terribly devastating 1-5 road trip against two of the worst teams in baseball. They now continue to play bad teams as they face the lowly Padres. These two met earlier in the year, and San Diego took two of three. However, the Padres look very different now as they have unloaded most of their roster. This is a Padres roster that is ravaged, and quite frankly, not very good. Pirates look to take advantage of this and win more games to climb into a playoff spot.
Tuesday: Chad Kuhl (1-0 4.19 ERA) vs Luis Perdomo (5-5 6.67 ERA) 7:05 ET
This will be a battle of two youngsters. For the Pirates, it’s Chad Kuhl. Kuhl makes his return to the rotation and will have a shot to claim a rotation spot. He looked very good outside of one start in his early MLB career. His pitch selection is limited so he will need to have his pitches all working to be effective. It’s been pretty good so far. Let’s see if he can continue. For the Padres, it’s Luis Perdomo. This is a guy that has the potential to be good but hasn’t been. He hasn’t been very good at all and nothing has really been shown otherwise. This might be a great chance for the Pirates’ bats to get it going.
Wednesday: Ryan Vogelsong (1-1 3.25 ERA) vs Edwin Jackson (2-2 5.00 ERA) 7:05 ET
Who would have thought that in 2016 we’d get a Ryan Vogelsong vs Edwin Jackson pitching matchup? Well, here we have it. Vogelsong gave the Pirates a fantastic outing, making his comeback even more epic. He has the chance to solidify a rotation spot with a few good starts. His leash was extended last start, but he needs to keep it going and hopefully give this team a boost. Now, for the Padres, Edwin Jackson. I seriously am amazed that the likes of Edwin Jackson is still in an MLB rotation. However, people are saying the same about Vogelsong probably. Anyway, this seems like another pitcher the Pirates should light up. But, they play the games for a reason, so you never know.
Thursday: Jameson Taillon (2-2 3.29 ERA) vs Christian Friedrich (4-7 4.76 ERA) 12:35 ET
Jameson Taillon has been brilliant in the MLB so far. He looks to be a mainstay in the Pirates rotation. The consistent control and the constant soft contact is a sticking point for him. What a return he has made after missing nearly two seasons to put together the year he’s had. For the Padres, it’s lefty Christian Friedrich. Friedrich has not enjoyed a good MLB career to date. He has shown flashes but hasn’t put it together. There’s nothing that stands out about him really.
The Pirates have a real shot with the pitching matchups in this series. This should be a winnable series for them. The Padres are a mess right now, and the Pirates’ job is to take advantage of them. These are the series you have to win to make the playoffs.