Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 8/20/12

If you saw Kevin Correia give up a few runs in the first inning and then saw the Pirates flailing away at the plate early on and decided to go to bed, you made the right decision. Things didn’t get much better for the Bucs, as they fell 3-1 to the Padres in the series opener.

Correia essentially confirmed our suspicions that starting him would be a bad idea, allowing two runs right away in the first inning on a double, single, HBP, passed ball, and groundout. Kevin suffered from some bad luck, but he’s more prone to that than most because of his inability to get K’s (only 2 today). He allowed a third run in the second and lasted 4.1 innings before giving way to the bullpen. It was nice of Correia to volunteer to pitch, and he did OK, but it probably wasn’t the right move to send him out there.

Still, his effort should have been enough to keep the Pirates in the game against Edinson Volquez. The Bucs rocked Volquez for six runs just over a week ago, but on Monday night he was dominant: 10 K’s, 3 walks, and just 5 hits in 6.2 innings. The Padres’ bullpen shut it down as well, and the Pirates managed just one run on a sharp Neil Walker RBI single in the sixth.

Jose Tabata (3 hits, including a double), Pedro Alvarez (a single and 2 walks), and Walker (the RBI single plus a walk) were the only Bucs that had a productive night at the plate. Andrew McCutchen had another brutal game, going 1-for-5 with 3 strikeouts and 5 men left on base. In both the seventh and ninth innings, he whiffed badly on outside fastballs with men on and two outs. His single led to the only Pirate run, but it was a lucky swinging bunt. (He also hit a deep flyout in the third that probably would’ve been out of any other ballpark, but that was really his only good swing of the night.) Something’s definitely wrong with Cutch, and the offense probably won’t do a whole lot until he snaps out of it. Travis Snider also had an awful game (0-for-4 with a walk and 4 K’s), as did Garrett Jones and Rod Barajas.

There were two bright spots later in the game, however. Both Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson made their major league debuts, and both impressed. McPherson tossed two scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and striking out two. Wilson pitched one inning and allowed two hits, but struck out the side. Both looked very sharp with lively fastballs and breaking stuff, giving me plenty of hope that they can be useful arms for the big club down the stretch.

So that was nice, but there weren’t many other positives in this one. The Pirates missed a chance to gain ground on the Reds, Braves, and Dodgers (who all lost) and saw their wild card lead shrink to a half-game. They also fell to 1-3 against the lowly Padres, and unfortunately Ross Ohlendorf won’t be around to face them this week.

Padres 3, Pirates 1 / Box / 2012 Record: 67-55 / Next: Tuesday, at Padres, 10:05

MVP: Tabata (+.086) / LVP: Correia (-.271) / Key play: Venable’s first inning RBI single

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