Aug 1, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Josh Harrison (5) hits a double during the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Players To Watch/Prediction
Even without McCutchen, the Pirates do have offensive threats in their lineup. Neil Walker, who may also miss some if not all of this series, has 16 HRs, 50 RBI and is batting .278. Josh Harrison is having a career year, hitting .308 with 10 HRs and 38 RBI, all of which are career highs for him. He also has stolen 15 bases.
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The Padres have made themselves at home in Pittsburgh, having won 8 of their last 10 games at PNC Park. They look to continue that hot streak this weekend. A key to a series win will be having more hitters contribute. Smith and Alonso hopefully will continue their hot streaks, but the Padres need Tommy Medica to continue to hit well and Yasmani Grandal to find his stroke again. The Padres have good starting pitching this series that should keep them in every game. The deciding factor will be whether or not other hitters can show up for the Friars.
My prediction is that the Padres will score a good amount of runs against the young Worley and Kennedy will pitch well, getting the Padres a Game 1 victory. Then the veteran Liriano may be too much as well as Stults has not been his best self lately, as the Padres may lose Game 2. The finale will be the rubber match and Tyson Ross will pitch well enough to get the Padres a series victory on the road once again.