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09/19 Padres Preview: Game 152 @ Pittsburgh

Kevin C. Cox

The Padres go for the sweep today in Pittburgh and Ian Kennedy will do his best to help them get it. The Padres pitching staff has finally come together here in the final stretch of the season. The starters have helped San Diego win 11 of their last 15 games while the whole pitching staff leads the majors in strikeouts this month with 153. Kennedy has been a big part of that success. The right-hander lost five straight decisions before being traded to the Padres from the Diamondbacks. Since the trade, he is 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA. In his most recent start, he gave up three runs in six innings for the no-decision against the Braves. Against the pirates he is 2-1 all-time with a 2.90 ERA.

Kennedy is going up against the rookie Gerrit Cole, who is having probably his best month of the season. Cole is coming off two consecutive victories and six straight quality starts. He's posted a 1.35 ERA in his three outings this month, racking up 21 strikeouts in 20 innings of work. His last start was particularly impressive. He held the Cubs to one run in seven innings while striking out seven. The righty wasn't as lucky in his only career outing against San Diego, a start at Petco Park just less than a month ago. He kept the Padres to just two runs, but gave up ten hits in six innings of work as the Padres went on to win the close 2-1 game.

It's an early one today as the series wraps up with a 9:35 start time. See if the Padres can keep the Pirates on their toes and complete the sweep.