There’s nothing tougher on an East Coast fan than mid-week West Coast series; I always end up staying up until the end of these games and then feeling like a total zombie for most of the week.. The Pirates have a pretty important three-game set against the Padres in San Diego this week, as they try to make their way back to .500 with a weekend series against the Brewers and Polanco Zero Hour looming in the nearish future. The Padres haven’t played all that well this year, and so it seems like this series is a good opportunity to get past the “four-games under .500″ barrier that they’ve had trouble crossing lately. Of course, I thought that about the end of the Mets series about a week ago, and we’re still here, even after taking three of four from the Dodgers.
Charlie Morton takes the mound for the Pirates tonight, and presumably Petco’s generous dimensions will suit him well. Every Monday, ESPN’s Mark Simon tweets out a whole slew of batted ball data and this week, Charlie Morton topped the list of pitchers that have done the best job of minimizing hard contact this year. Morton’s having a weird year; he’s had some really good starts, he’s had some decent starts mostly tainted by one bad inning, and he’s walked 8 batters in 11 innings over his last two starts, one of which is his only win of the year. I guess you can say that the general problem is just that he’s been really uneven, which is not a new thing for Charlie Morton but it is frustrating given how mostly consistent he was down the stretch last year.
Tim Stauffer starts for the Padres tonight. Most of his work this year has been as a reliever, and after an incredible start to the season the Diamondbacks absolutely hammered him seven runs in 1/3 of an inning in what was just his second start of the season. Let’s hope the Pirates see that Tim Stauffer again. First pitch tonight is at 10:10. Anyone up for a late night?