Pittsburgh Pirates (61-53)
San Diego Padres (52-61)
Friday, August 8th – 7:05 pm
Saturday, August 9th – 7:05 pm
Sunday, August 10th – 1:35 pm
PNC Park – Pittsburgh, PA
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Despite playing without Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Pedro Alvarez for the first time since they’ve all been in the league together (June 2010), the homestand started on a good note, as the Bucs took two of three from the Miami Marlins. They’ll welcome the Padres for the weekend, a team that isn’t good by any stretch but has managed to win 11 of 18 games since the All-Star break. The Buccos are just 1.5 games out of first and 0.5 out of a wild card spot entering the weekend.
News, Notes, Storylines
– Pirates still rolling with the best home record in the NL (36-22).
– The Padres are 21-34 on the road, third-worst in baseball.
– San Diego has won 17 of their last 21 games at PNC Park. The Bucs have never won a series against the Padres at PNC.
– The Friars finally got their new general manager — A.J. Preller, former Texas assistant GM.
– Pedro Alvarez is reportedly back from the bereavement list, meaning the Bucs have a roster decision to make before gametime.
– Jerry Meals is on the the umpire crew for this series, and will be behind the plate on Friday night.
– PNC promotions this weekend: Free Shirt on Friday; Fireworks on Sunday; Kids ice cream bowl on Sunday.
What they’re saying:
Two things we know:
1) The Padres hitters were dreadful before the All-Star break.
2) The Padres hitters have been great since the All-Star break.
– Friars on Base[/quote_simple]
Player to Watch
It’s hard not to keep an eye out on Josh Harrison. Every time you think he’s in a slump, he picks himself right back up. As long as Cutch, Pedro, Walker are out, J-Hay is — believe it or not — an essential piece of the Pirates’ lineup. Who would’ve thought? But he’s having himself an incredible year, and this current stretch is yet another chapter: Harrison is on an 11-game hitting streak, batting .429/.462/.898 with five homers, six doubles, a triple, and four stolen bases in that span. Let’s see if he can keep it going this weekend.
Pirates will finally beat the Padres at home, winning their first series against them at PNC by taking two of three. Make it happen.