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 Post subject: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:59 pm 
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My fearless predictions (as I close out my "lunch hour" on an offday):

8 series left in the season. Cards up 1.5 on the Bucs and Dodgers. Here is how this thing is going to play out.

Series 1:
Pirates play Cubs (home) (3 games) – Prediction: Bucs win 2/3 (74-65)
Cardinals play Brewers (home) (3 games) – Prediction: Cardinals win 1/3 (75-65)
Dodgers play Giants (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Dodgers win 1/3 (74-67)
END RESULT: Pirates pull even with Cardinals in loss column. Still down one in the win column. Dodgers fall back a tad in overall standings but are 2 games back in important loss column.
ANALYSIS: Brewers hot. Dodgers cold. Cubs bad. Golden opportunity for Bucs to make a little headway. Bad break drawing the long haired former ND football player on Saturday but the Bucs counter with MickieD. Bucs head to Cincy in good shape.

Series 2:
Pirates play the Reds (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Reds win 2/3 (75-67)
Cardinals play Padres (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Padres win 2/3 (76-67)
Dodgers play Diamondbacks (away) (2 games) – Prediction: Split (75-68)
END RESULT: To quote Monty Python’s The Search for the Holy Grail . . “we’ll call it a draw.” Dodgers gain one-half game in the standings; one game back in loss column.
ANALYSIS: To say that this series “scares” me is an understatement. Bucs have sucked on the road and, if my counting is right, it would appear that the rotation will be Burnett, Correia and Rodriguez. Looks like the Bucs will draw Latos, Leake and Bailey (missing Arroyo (uuugh) and Cueto (yeah!)). One win in GABP and I’ll be happy. Gotta hope that SD continues to play good ball.

Series 3:
Pirates play Cubs (away) (4 games) – Prediction: Pirates win 3/4 (78-68)
Cardinals play Dodgers (away) (4 games) – Prediction: Split (78-69)
Dodgers play Cardinals (home) (4 games) – Prediction: Split (77-70)
END RESULT: Bucs move back into the lead for last wildcard spot by ½ game and have a full game lead in the loss column on Cards and two games on Dodgers.
ANALYSIS: Huge set of games for Pirates. Huge. While the Pirates have a chance to play one of the worst teams in the NL, the Cards and Dodgers will be slugging it out against one another.

Series 4:
Pirates play Brewers (home) (3 games) – Prediction: Pirates win 2/3 (80-69)
Cardinals play Astros (home) (3 games) – Prediction: Cardinals sweep (81-69)
Dodgers play Nationals (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Dodgers win 1/3 (78-72)
END RESULT: Cards take care of business against AAAstros. Re-take lead for last wildcard spot. Dodgers taking on water – and fast.
ANALYSIS: The second “scariest” series as the season approaches. Cards get a breather against AAAstros while the Bucs play a team that they just can’t seem to beat. Brewers have been hot and they seem to feast on Pirates pitching. Pirates must figure out a way to win 2 games in this set.

Series 5:
Pirates play Astros (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Pirates win 2/3 (82-70)
Cardinals play Cubs (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Cardinals win 2/3 (83-70)
Dodgers play Reds (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Dodgers win 1/3 (79-74)
END RESULT: Consecutive streak of losing seasons ends but the Pirates don’t take advantage of playing the AAAstros and only match the Cardinals’ results against the Cubs. Still chasing one game in the win column. Dodgers continue to fade.
ANALYSIS: Sweep here could be huge. Cubs/Cardinals rivalry comes into play. For some reason, it is never easy for the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Will be pulling for the Northsiders – big time – and that says a lot. I think that this series all but puts a fork in the Dodgers’ chances.

Series 6:
Pirates play Mets (away) (4 games) – Prediction: Pirates win 3/4 (85-71)
Cardinals play Astros (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Cardinals sweep (86-70)
Dodgers play Padres (away) (3 games) – Prediction: Dodgers win 2/3 (81-75)
END RESULT: Cards once again take care of the AAAstros and the Bucs hang in there by winning 3 of 4 against a team that wants the season to end sooner rather than later. Bucs chasing a full game in the standings. Dodgers are 5 back of Cardinals and 4 back of Pirates. They’re done.
ANALYSIS: With the Cardinals playing the AAAstros, the Bucs likely can’t afford to drop more than one game against the Mets. Heading into the last 6 games, the Bucs have to hope to be within 1 game of the Cardinals.

Series 7:
Pirates play Reds (home) (3 games) – Prediction: Pirates win 2/3 (87-72)
Cardinals play Nationals (home) (3 games) – Prediction: Cardinals win 1/3 (87-72)
Dodgers play Rockies (home) (3 games) – Prediction: Dodgers win 2/3 (83-76)
END RESULT: Dodgers eliminated. Pirates and Cardinals are tied.
ANALYSIS: Nationals pitches well as they tune up for playoffs. Reds play regulars sporadically as they rest up on weekend before playoffs. Pirates and Cardinals both play their asses off to fight for playoffs.

Series 8:
Pirates play Braves (home) (3 games) – Pirates win 2/3 (89-73)
Cardinals play Reds (home) (3 games) – Cardinals win 2/3 (89-73)
Dodgers play Giants (home) (3 games) – won’t matter
END RESULT: One game playoff at PNC.
ANALYSIS: Braves and Reds have both clinched . . . resting regulars and not overtaxing their pitching. Both Pirates and Cards end up winning their respective series. I’ve written all year that it will take 90 wins to earn the last wildcard slot and it will happen in Game #163.

WILDCARD PLAYOFF GAME - Prediction: Bucs 4 - Cards 3 in 11 innings.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:11 pm 
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If there would be a play in type of game for the last wild card...what would determine home field advantage?

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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:15 pm 
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All in good fun, I know, but are you seriously proposing that this Bucs team is going to win all 8 of their remaining series?


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:19 pm 
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val wrote:
All in good fun, I know, but are you seriously proposing that this Bucs team is going to win all 8 of their remaining series?


Nope. Have them losing 2/3 to the Reds next week.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:27 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
val wrote:
All in good fun, I know, but are you seriously proposing that this Bucs team is going to win all 8 of their remaining series?


Nope. Have them losing 2/3 to the Reds next week.

Need to read a bit more carefully.... :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:31 pm 
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val wrote:
All in good fun, I know, but are you seriously proposing that this Bucs team is going to win all 8 of their remaining series?


Also, the final 8 series are against:
Cubs
Reds
Cubs
Brewers
Astros
Mets
Reds
Braves

4 of those are eminently winnable (Cubs twice, Astros and Mets)
4 are eminently losable and I have them losing 1 of them to the Reds and taking series agaisnt Brewers, Reds and Braves at PNC Park.

Optimistic? Yes. Ridiculous? No.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
If there would be a play in type of game for the last wild card...what would determine home field advantage?


Home field advantage in the one game tie breaker is determined by the season series...and the Bucs took the Cards 8-7, so we would have home field over them!

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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:28 pm 
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Great stuff No 9, but are you conceding that the Braves are in? With today's win they are only +3 over the Cards and +4 over the Bucs in the loss column. They have some tough series coming up as well:

3 @ Milwaukee
3 vs Nats
3 @ Philly

The balance, unfortunately, are against the Marlins, Mets and, of course the Bucs. The Phillies always play them tough and are playing pretty well. Would love to see them go into a little tail spin and make this a 4 way race for the two spots.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:40 pm 
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You are way more optimistic than me, but I hope you are right. Are you also predicting a World Series victory?

I am predicting that the Pirates will break .500, barely, and miss the playoffs. And that it will take less than 90 victories to earn the last wild card spot.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:42 pm 
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The Mets are no pushover.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:07 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
You are way more optimistic than me, but I hope you are right. Are you also predicting a World Series victory?

I am predicting that the Pirates will break .500, barely, and miss the playoffs. And that it will take less than 90 victories to earn the last wild card spot.


Sadly, I'm envisioning a loss in Atlanta if they make the wildcard game. More tomahawk chop nightmares and replays of . . . you know . . . THAT PLAY.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Beat 'em Bucs wrote:
Great stuff No 9, but are you conceding that the Braves are in? With today's win they are only +3 over the Cards and +4 over the Bucs in the loss column. They have some tough series coming up as well:

3 @ Milwaukee
3 vs Nats
3 @ Philly

The balance, unfortunately, are against the Marlins, Mets and, of course the Bucs. The Phillies always play them tough and are playing pretty well. Would love to see them go into a little tail spin and make this a 4 way race for the two spots.


I looked at their schedule and I just don't see them caving in. It would be nice but I don't see it.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:03 pm 
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doug frobel wrote:
The Mets are no pushover.


Check the calender, it's September.

Citifield turns into a pumpkin on the stroke of mignight after August 31st. :D

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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:48 pm 
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doug frobel wrote:
The Mets are no pushover.


Agreed, I don't see that Mets series as any better than a 2-2 split. I would be ecstatic with a 3 -1 win.


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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:53 pm 
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No.9 you're allowed to dream. Nothing wrong with that. Here lately I've been thinking about that painful home swing against the west coast teams only to go back out west and get swept. The brewers series was equally agonizing knowing we had Burnett and McDonald going that series. I just think they've dug their grave. Either way it's been an encouraging year. A lot more ups than downs.

We're only what, 1.5 games out? Somebody is going to get hot and run away. Will it be the bucs?
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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:21 am 
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Man-- lot of thought and time. Thanks.
I tend to agree with Ralphie. If we play Jult type baseball, we can do what you suggest but right now, it's hard to see that happening. We better settle for breaking the 500 barrier for this season. At least a step forward.

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 Post subject: Re: And down the stretch they come . . .
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:21 am 
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Man-- lot of thought and time. Thanks.
I tend to agree with Ralphie. If we play Jult type baseball, we can do what you suggest but right now, it's hard to see that happening. We better settle for breaking the 500 barrier for this season. At least a step forward.

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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