The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently in a pair of dogfights, as they are one game behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central and are also trying to hold on to one of the NL’s two wild card spots. Right now the Pirates are in line for the top wild card slot, but they have dropped the first two games of a four-game home series with the San Diego Padres heading into Wednesday’s contest.
Turning to struggling starting pitcher Charlie Morton may not be the answer to ending Pittsburgh’s woes against the Padres at PNC Park — San Diego is 30-10 there since it opened in 2001 — as the 29-year-old right-hander is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA over his last two starts. Nevertheless, his season numbers are solid, as he is 7-4 with a 3.54 ERA.
The Padres will give the ball to Tyson Ross, who began the season in their bullpen but has since made 13 starts. He has an overall mark of 3-8 despite a 3.29 ERA that is lower than Wednesday’s opposite number.
Ross is also coming off a rocky performance, though, having given up six runs on five hits in just 0.2 innings of a 10-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, which was one of just four losses the Padres have suffered in their last 14 games.
So with one team well on its way to the playoffs and the other playing the role of a spoiler, it all depends on which starter can turn things around — and whether the Pirates can finally put an end to their home skid against San Diego.