Pittsburgh Pirates series takeaways vs. San Diego Padres


The Pittsburgh Pirates played a mostly solid series against the Indians to start a very pivotal home stand. A home stand which features the hated division leading, St. Louis Cardinals, but before that series, the Pirates turned their attention to the always annoying at PNC Park, San Diego Padres as the two teams played a three game series.

Game One: A.J. Burnett (7-3, 2.05ERA) vs. James Shields (7-3, 4.14ERA)

Result: Pirates win 2-1

Winning Pitcher: Jared Hughes (2-1, 2.39ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Maurer (5-2, 1.91ERA)

  • What went right:
    • A.J. Burnett celebrated his first career All Star selection by throwing 7.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out four. Dude brought his A-game all night.
    • Andrew McCutchen reached base three times. Going 1-2 with two walks and two runs scored.
    • Jared Hughes kept the Padres off the scoreboard in the top of the ninth inning, setting up the win.
    • Pedro Alvarez got his first walk-off hit since 2010.
  • What went wrong:
    • James Shields was just as good as Burnett. Going seven innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits and striking out three.
    • Pirates offense didn’t do much in the game. Only getting five hits.
    • Gregory Polanco was caught stealing in the eighth inning.

Game Two: Francisco Liriano (5-6, 2.99ERA) vs. Tyson Ross (5-7, 3.63ERA)

Result: Pirates win 3-2

Winning Pitcher: Tony Watson (2-1, 2.03ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Joaquín Benoit (5-4, 2.25ERA)

Save: Mark Melancon (28, 1.54ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Andrew McCutchen just keeps doing his usual MVP type stuff. Going 2-4 with an RBI.
    • Francisco Liriano battled through a one hour and fourteen minute rain delay to give the Pirates a more than quality start. He went six innings, allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six.
    • The formula of Jared Hughes, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon continue to impress. As they pitched three shutout innings.
    • Gregory Polanco got the game winning hit in the bottom of the eighth inning. He also walked twice.
  • What went wrong:
    • There was yet another rain delay. Those are getting pretty old.
    • Matt Kemp had a pretty big game. Going 2-4 with two RBI.
    • Clint Barmes had two hits in his return to Pittsburgh.
    • Justin Upton robbed Andrew McCutchen of a two-run home run, making one of the greatest catches in PNC Park history in the process.

Game Three: Charlie Morton (6-2, 4.30ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (3-9, 4.06ERA)

Result: Pirates win 5-2

Winning Pitcher: Deolis Guerra (2-0, 0.00ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Andrew Cashner (3-10, 4.10ERA)

Save: Antonio Bastardo (1, 3.86ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Jung-ho Kang has covered for the injured Josh Harrison incredibly well so far. Going 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
    • Charlie Morton recovered very nicely from a shaky start to the ballgame. Going six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out five.
    • Deolis Guerra’s storybook-like run continued. He earned his second career win, going two innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits.
    • Gregory Polanco got the game winning hit for the second consecutive night.
  • What went wrong:
    • Andrew Cashner kept the Pirates’ bats silent for most of the night. He went 7.2 innings, allowing four runs on three hits and striking out five.
    • Pedro Alvarez had two errors at first base, both on botched pick off attempts.
    • Pirates allowed another two-out RBI from Matt Kemp.
    • Charlie Morton struggled with control all night as he walked four Padres.

In 2014, the Pirates really struggled with sweeping opponents. That did not carry over to 2015 as they just swept their league leading 10th series of the season. Since PNC Park opened in 2001, the Padres have pretty much owned the Pirates so it feels really nice to sweep the Padres out of town. The Pirates have won five games in a row and are about to welcome the NL Central leading, St. Louis Cardinals to town for four games in arguably the biggest series to date of 2015. It’s time to PackPNC and DeckTheCards.

Series result: Pirates win 3-0

2015 win/loss record: 50-34

2015 series record: 14-10-3

Next: Reconstructing a JHay-less Pittsburgh Pirates lineup