PITTSBURGH — Another series, another last-place opponent for the Pirates (25-17), who face the National League West’s basement-dwellers for four games over this extended weekend at PNC Park.
The Padres (17-27) have treaded water lately, going 5-5 in their past 10, but they’ve also squandered a home-heavy start to the season, posting an 11-18 record in San Diego so far. The road is unlikely to be kinder to the Friars, who are trying to end a streak of seven consecutive losing seasons.
Chad Kuhl (4.17 ERA, 5.06 FIP, 1.35 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings) faces San Diego’s rookie lefty Eric Lauer (8.27, 6.76, 2.14 in 16 1/3) in the first pitching matchup of the series. Kuhl is coming off a six-inning, three-run outing against the Giants on Saturday, his fourth quality start in his past five appearances.
The only real news revealed before the game was that Starling Marte might hit the 10-day disabled list in the next 24 hours. Marte, who said he suffered an oblique injury Tuesday, will sit out a second straight game this evening.
Marte’s continued absence will handicap the Pirates, who have won eight of 10 since getting swept in Washington two weeks ago. For today’s feature, I spoke to several Pirates about how success in one area of the game can positively influence other areas:
For the second straight game, the Pirates go with a couple of extra righties against a southpaw starter …
For Friars bench boss Andy Green, the following nine …
Kicking off the road trip with a 4️⃣-game series vs. PIT! First pitch at 4:05pm PT today. Here’s the full lineup: pic.twitter.com/7CNxZPBkMC
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 17, 2018
Should be a good one. Game-time temperature will be in the high 70s, dropping just a few degrees by midnight. Weather.com has the chance for rain pinpointed at 15 percent throughout the evening, with increasing humidity expected.