A case could be made that it was Kevin Correia who sparked Pittsburgh's surprisingly strong pitching. The Pirates have a 2.50 ERA in the last 11 games, including the 6-5 loss to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
It was Correia, after all, who pitched a solid opener and has been the team's most consistent performer, perhaps at any position: He is 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA and only nine walks in 40 1/3 innings.
"He's been outstanding, and a great example, too," fellow starter Charlie Morton said.
It might stand to reason, then, that Correia would be a little extra inspired to face his previous employer, the Padres, on Wednesday. He is a San Diego native, and he pitched there in 2009-10.
Then again, maybe not.
"It's going to be like any other game for me, really," Correia said. "I've thrown here a lot of times, with the Padres and with other teams. I'm not over-amped or over-excited for it. It's going to be just another start for me. At this point in my career, I've pitched here so many times."
In 34 career starts at Petco Park, Correia is 9-13 with a 4.46 ERA and .245 opponents' batting average. That ERA is virtually the same as his 4.48 overall ERA, which might seem odd given that most pitchers have lower figures at Petco.
"They say this is a good pitchers' park, but I think it's just a matter of the way you pitch," Correia said. "I'm not a guy who gives up a lot of deep flyballs. And my numbers might be similar because I pitched in San Francisco before that, and I think that's a pitchers' park, too."
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