Aug 19, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner (34) throws during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Grab Opener From Padres


The San Diego Padres lost Monday night against the surprising Pirates by a final score of 3 – 1 off 5 hits and 1 ER.  Andrew Cashner was the tough luck pitcher who pitched close enough to keep the Padres within scoring distance, but gave up 2 unearned runs off a rare Chris Denorfia error in the 4th.  The Padres mounted a rally in the late innings, scoring a run off a Nick Hundely RBI double in 9th.  Pirate closer Mark Melancon struck out pinch hitter Mark Kostay, who came up as the tying run.

San Diego starting pitcher Andrew Cashner threw a mix of 57.6% 4 seam fastballs, 29.4% change ups and 12.9% sliders.  Cashner pitched well and efficiently against the Pirates working towards 85 total pitches.  However, giving up the 2 unearned proved costly.  Buddy Black elected to pinch hit for Cashner, our best hitting pitcher, in the 7th.  I watched this game with 2 of my buddies from Pittsburg.  A wife was from the south.  They enjoyed the good match up.  Despite these issues, the Padres played well and just barely got edged by a nervous Pirates playoff contending team.  The Pirates have a good chance to make the wildcard.  The Padres did out hit the Pirates 6 to 5, and left more runners on base 7 to 2.  Essentially, the Padres were a timely hit or big defensive gem play away from winning this game.

The Pittsburg Pirates and the San Diego Padres have a lot of similarities as franchises and both have perennial small markets teams that have small windows of contention.  The Pirates are a surprise player in the NL Central this year, with good young pitchers, such as winning pitcher Francisco Liriano and Jeff Locke.  Let’s see how the Padres continue to match up against them.

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