After dropping the first two games against the Giants, our Padres were able to pull it together and, behind a fantastic start by Clayton Richard, they salvaged the final game and avoided the sweep. Tonight our boys will kick off a series against the Pirates, whom they took two of three from just over a week ago. Pittsburgh currently possesses the second National League Wild Card spot thanks to their 67-54 record, which is fourth best in the NL. This series will give our Friars a chance to do some more ruining.
Prior to boarding their flight to San Diego last night, the Pirates played a 19-inning game, beating the Cardinals on a home run by Pedro Alvarez. Also, they have yet to announce a starting pitcher for today's game. Before the Pirates reverted back to a five-man rotation, former Padre Kevin Correia was originally slated to make the start in the series opener. Wandy Rodriguez was then scheduled for the start, but he pitched in last night's marathon in St. Louis, going the final two innings to earn the win.
Today, Pittsburgh called up two pitchers from Triple-A Indianapolis, Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson. But according to Pirates Prospects, Correia may be the one to make the start after all. He also pitched two innings last night in St. Louis, so McPherson and/or Wilson would probably eat some innings and try to rest the Pirates' taxed bullpen.
Thankfully, our own bullpen got some rest yesterday as Clayton Richard went eight innings en route to defeating the Giants. Our relief pitchers had been put to work more than usual in the games leading up to yesterday, so Richard's deep outing was very much needed. Today they will be more rested in the case that Edinson Volquez needs some saving again.
To say that Volquez is in a slump would be an understatement. He has failed to escape the fourth inning in each of his last three starts, going 0-2 with a whopping 16.62 ERA in that span. Hopefully tonight will be the night that he turns it around. He is 1-0 in eight career starts against the Pirates. He'll be pitching against a team that is coming off a long extra-inning effort, after which they had to fly more than halfway across the country to play in San Diego. Volquez will need to take advantage of their lack of rest and last-minute roster moves, and our offense will need to come through with the run support.
After going through a slump of their own, our offense broke through for seven runs in each of their last two games. It has been very much a team effort, but players like Chase Headley, Cameron Maybin, and Everth Cabrera stood out over the weekend. Yesterday's win snapped a five-game losing streak, and hopefully our Padres will get a win streak started tonight.