Vanimal has given up two earned runs in his last three starts (21 IP), while tossing his first MLB shutout against the Giants. Worley has done a good job of throwing strikes while avoiding the middle of the plate. The big change has been his use of the two seamer. It was an after thought until this year, but now he uses it 40% of the time to go with a fastball, slider and curve. He's got a good history against the Padres, with a 2-0 slate and 2.08 ERA in two career starts, both in 2012 as a Phil.
Kennedy has had more luck on the road than at pitcher-friendly Petco, with a 3.18 ERA in 11 road starts, compared to 4.00 at home. Home or away, he hasn't lost a game since June 25th, going 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in his last six starts. It's no wonder the Pirates were said to have interest in him at the deadline, along with a handful of other contenders.
He's gone 3-2 with a 3.98 ERA against the Pirates in seven lifetime starts. The vet was the winning pitcher on June 4th at Petco Park, topping Francisco Liriano by a 3-2 tally.
The lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Russ Martin C, Ike Davis 1B, Starling Marte CF, Travis Snider LF, Jordy Mercer SS, Jayson Nix 2B and Worley P. The Bucs have to do something; Pedro's back, so someone has to either drop off the roster (Michael Martinez, in all likelihood) or go on the DL (Cutch or Neil). As of 4:15, the Pirates haven't decided what way to go yet.
The game starts at 7:05 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
- The Pirates took two of three from the Padres earlier in the year, with some pretty good stickwork. Jordy Mercer went 7-for-13 with five runs, Josh Harrison was 7-for-14, and Walker went 4-for-9 with five RBIs in that series.
- Walker is 8-for-18 with three homers in his career against Kennedy, and Ike Davis has four solo homers in 12 at-bats according to Stats LLC.
- After a dismal 1-for-12 showing in his Indy rehab games, Starling Marte has a modest three game hitting streak since being recalled from the DL. Rehab game stats are like spring training; fun to talk about but not very useful.
- Russ Martin has hit safely in 12 of his past 13 games. Gregory Polanco is also on a roll, hitting safely in seven of his last eight matches.
- David Golebiewski of the Tribune Review took a look at why the Padres' may have a hard time scoring against Pittsburgh this series. The Bucs induce grounders and San Diego hits grounders, which isn't a promising combo for the Left Coasters. Of course, that's countered by the Friars' 8-2 record at PNC in the past 10 meetings.
- Big baseball weekend: the Pirates are expected to sell out each of the three games against the Padres.
- And Tyler Glasnow makes Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet yet again...
- Marlin pitcher Dan Jennings tweeted that his CT scans were negative. He's being treated for a concussion after taking a liner off the temple during last night's game in a very scary moment.