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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:14 am 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Having driven through Kansas several times on trips to Denver and visits to relatives, I am compelled to repeat that Kansas is the worst drive in the f'en country. Nothing but corn fields as far as forever. Did see TOTO on I-70.

Now, that would be an interesting thread. I-40 (east west through Tennessee) gets my vote. I've driven it maybe 8 times. Sometime I want to go north - south on I-65 and do Tennessee in two hours. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:35 am 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Having driven through Kansas several times on trips to Denver and visits to relatives, I am compelled to repeat that Kansas is the worst drive in the f'en country. Nothing but corn fields as far as forever. Did see TOTO on I-70.


And you would be correct. A close second is the drive across Nebraska. You better have satellite radio or an Ipod full of songs because you'll only get one crappy radio station from one boarder to the other.

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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Things have been a tad crazy in my life and I've missed the start of the last few series. Taking the holiday to get back up on the horse.

I don't think you can understate the importance of taking 2 of 3 from the Cardinals. Yes, it would have been nice to sweep them but good pitching and timely hitting dominated the Cardinals in the first two games. I take Johnson's performance with a grain of salt. I question putting him in that situation against a patient and wily Cardinals' lineup. Would have rather seen them go with Gomez or hold Cumpton for the game . . . at least they've taken the bump to start the game a few times. Oh well. Not a big deal.

44 series in the books. 8 to go. The new look Bucs head into the House That 'Roids Built to face a game Brewers team that played its last series at PNC as if they were hell bent on being spoilers this year. I truly despise the Brewers but I'll give them props for pushing back hard. They did not have a "throw in the towel" look at all and I don't expect for them to play any differently in this series.

With a 10-6 lead in the games played thus far, the Bucs have clinched the season series against the Brewers which is an nice change from prior years.

Morton v. Thornburg; Cole v. Gallardo and possibly Liriano v. Peralta. I like Morton's chances today particularly if the roof is open. The House That 'Roids Built has interesting shadow issues during day games when the roof is open and it should only serve to enhance Morton's effectiveness for a few innings. I expect Cole to bounce back and throw better on Tuesday night and I expect that Gallardo will not be near as effective facing the new Bucs' lineup. I feel very good about both games.

Hoping for two wins heading into the series finale which may make for an interesting pitching choice. Do you save Liriano for Friday? Awfully tempting if you have two wins under the belt. Do you plug in Cumpton? Do you give Locke a shot?

I'm envisioning at least two wins and the Bucs will be playing solid ball as they head towards the Gateway City to face a hopefully battered Redbirds team as they travel out of the Queen City. Bucs will be at least 81-58 and I think there's a decent chance that I'll be seeing their 82nd victory in person on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. However, I hope I miss it by one day.

Trends:
Brewers' last 10: 4-6; last 20: 9-11; last 30: 14-16
Pirates' last 10: 5-5; last 20: 9-11; last 30: 15-15

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates
Series "on deck:" Milwaukee Brewers - away- (59-77)
Pirates Current Record: 79-57
Number of series in 2013: 52
Series won: 24
Series swept: 7
Series lost: 15
Series in which they've been swept: 3
Series split: 5
Series played: 44
Home series played: 23
Home series won: 14
Home series lost: 7
Home series split: 2
Road series played: 21
Road series won: 10
Road series lost: 8
Road series split: 3
Overall series record: 24-15-5
Series remaining: 8

2012 Record on 9-2: 70-63
Series Record in 2012 as of 9-2: 22-16-5

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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: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:26 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
Substitute2 wrote:
Having driven through Kansas several times on trips to Denver and visits to relatives, I am compelled to repeat that Kansas is the worst drive in the f'en country. Nothing but corn fields as far as forever. Did see TOTO on I-70.


And you would be correct. A close second is the drive across Nebraska. You better have satellite radio or an Ipod full of songs because you'll only get one crappy radio station from one boarder to the other.


Pravda.

How long does it take to get across Kansas? I could barely stand the three hour drive (we drove FAST) to Omaha.

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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:48 am 
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Here we go . . . biggest series of the year. Bucs currently lead the Cardinals by two games in the loss column. Bucs' remaining schedule includes the Cardinals, Rangers, Cubs, Padres, Reds, Cubs, Reds. Cardinals' remaining schedule includes the Pirates, Brewers, Mariners, Rockies, Brewers, Nationals, Cubs. Advantage: Cardinals

The Cardinals are wrapping up a 17 game stretch which saw them playing the Braves (3-1), Reds (2-1), Pirates (1-2), Reds (1-3) and now the Pirates. They started hot by winning 5 of the first seven and they've reversed course and have now lost 5 of their last seven. When the Cardinals' stretch of difficult opponents began, the Pirates were 74-52 and the Cardinals were one game back at 73-53. While the Cardinals have gone 7-7 over that span, the Pirates have gone 7-6 against the likes of the Giants, Brewers, Cardinals and Brewers. (The Reds have gone 7-7).

Some may consider the Cardinals to be in trouble after losing 5 of their last 7. I don't see it that way at all. The season is a marathon and each team is running a distinctly different course. Over the past 14 games, the Cardinals have faced an uphill portion of the race. They have played .500 ball against the best competition offered in the NL and only lost one-half game to the Pirates. After this weekend's games, the Cardinals' run to the finish line is all downhill. They will have put the toughest part of the schedule behind them.

Not so for the Pirates. Arguably, the stretch of games that included Padres (3), Giants (4), Brewers (6) should have been a "downhill" portion of the season. Unfortunately, going 7-6 in these games has not created the kind of separation that we all hoped for.

The above demonstrates why I think that this weekend's series is so big. Win the series by taking 2 of 3 and the Bucs will head to Arlington with a 3 game lead in the loss column. That would be far more comfortable than either a 1 game lead or a 1 game deficit. A realist would conclude that there is a great chance for the Cardinals to win the majority of the series remaining on their schedule. This weekend offers the last opportunity for the Pirates to impose their will and create some additional separation.

So . . . what is going "our" way? Craig will miss the series and, despite swinging a dangerous bat, I'd rather see Adams at first base than Craig. Wainwright hasn't pitched like Wainwright over his last two outings. Kelly will pitch tonight but the Bucs counter with Burnett who has pitched well against the Cards' line-up. McCutchen continues to tear it up. Walker has been hitting well. Byrd has ripped the cover off the ball since becoming a Buc. Morneau continues to look like the professional hitter that we all hoped that he would be. Martin has had two days of rest. The key members of the bullpen are rested.

What do we need? Burnett to be the "good AJ." Locke to channel the early season pinpoint-control Locke. Morton to continue serving up ground balls. We need Kdro to pull his head out of his ass and start hitting the ball. We need Cutch to be Cutch and for the crew of Byrd, Walker, Tabata, Morneau and Martin to meaningfully contribute at the plate. Solid defense.

This is baseball theatre at its best. Two teams battling for the division title with less than 25 games left on the schedule. Its been a while since I've taken in a 3 game set and I've never done it in St. Louis. Can't wait. I'm nervous as hell as I type this in the Scranton airport . . . boarding has begun and I need to sign off. My prediction? Bucs take 2 of 3. They win tonight; lose Saturday and take the series on Sunday.

LET'S GO BUCS!

Trends:
Cardinals' last 10: 4-6; last 20: 12-8; last 30: 16-14
Pirates' last 10: 5-5; last 20: 10-10; last 30: 16-14

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates
Series "on deck:" St. Louis Cardinals - away- (80-60)
Pirates Current Record: 81-58
Number of series in 2013: 52
Series won: 25
Series swept: 7
Series lost: 15
Series in which they've been swept: 3
Series split: 5
Series played: 45
Home series played: 23
Home series won: 14
Home series lost: 7
Home series split: 2
Road series played: 22
Road series won: 11
Road series lost: 8
Road series split: 3
Overall series record: 25-15-5
Series remaining: 7

_________________
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: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:47 am 
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[/quote]Having driven through Kansas several times on trips to Denver and visits to relatives, I am compelled to repeat that Kansas is the worst drive in the f'en country. Nothing but corn fields as far as forever. Did see TOTO on I-70.[/quote]

Funny memeory on driving thru Kansas. My family of 4 plus grandma and great aunt are driving from northern Indiana to Colorado to see my moms sister. My mom is driving the 1974 Buick Estate Wagon with the 455. Everyone else has fallen asleep. My grandma wakes up and says "aren't you driving a little fast?" my mom looks down is and going 115 mph. We say she was thinking get me thru this state!


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:17 pm 
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I'm sitting here sick to my stomach and with a bag of ice on my lap after the massive kick to the groin delivered by the Cardinals this weekend. This is what I wrote before the Cardinals' series:

What do we need? Burnett to be the "good AJ." Locke to channel the early season pinpoint-control Locke. Morton to continue serving up ground balls. We need Kdro to pull his head out of his ass and start hitting the ball. We need Cutch to be Cutch and for the crew of Byrd, Walker, Tabata, Morneau and Martin to meaningfully contribute at the plate. Solid defense.


Did we see the good AJ? No.
Did we see Locke with his early season control? No.
Did Morton continue to serve up ground balls? No.
Did Kdro start hitting the ball? Not so much.
Did we get meaningful contributions from the "supporting cast?" Not so much.

That leaves us with Cutch. Delivered as he has with few exceptions throughout the year. However, as we painfully learned last year, he can't win games by himself. How about a little support for the MVP candidate?

I think that I am still suffering from PTSD after being in St. Louis for the debacle this weekend. The complete and utter dominance displayed by the Cardinals was disheartening to say the least.

So . . . where do the Bucs go from here? Unfortunately, it appears that it is out of the frying pan and into the fire. First up, Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers. Son of a bi-ch. Then . . close the series out against Matt Garza. Uuuugh. I am not buying into the notion that the Pirates are "collapsing." However, I am fully on board with the notion that they are playing very tight right now. A win -a solid-on-all-grounds win - is necessary. A quality start. Good solid offensive approaches at the plate. Flawless defense. And outscoring an opponent by 3-4 runs. A good comfortable stress-free win. That would likely offer some elixir for what ails them.

Sadly, I don't expect to get it tonight. Darvish is difficult enough to hit when you've seen him before; he's going to be a nightmare for a bunch of first-timers who K at one of the highest rates in baseball. I'll go on record and predict that if the Pirates put 15 balls in play tonight (outs and hits), I will be surprised. I expect to see 15-18 strike outs and fewer than five hits. That puts the team squarely in the 13-16 balls in play category. I also do not expect them to score more than 1 or 2 runs.

For me, the key to this series lies in the last two games. Can the team right the ship in advance of taking on the Cubs? I'm not claiming that they need to win the final two games of the series. A split would be fine. I want to see them get back to pitching well and playing good defense. I want to see an opponent held to 2 or 3 runs. I want to see some NL baseball aggression on the base paths. Getting from first to third base on a single. Putting the ball in play with runners on. No backwards Ks. If the ship is righted before the Chicago series, then I expect that a little home cooking against the Cubs and the Padres will have them ready for the Reds.

Time to wipe the hard drive clean - delete the virus and go back to fundamentals.

They had a chance to make it easy on themselves. That chance was blown, is now gone and cannot be recaptured. No use dwelling. As a result, they must scratch and claw for anything they can get. We'll see just how much character this team has. Does it, like the Cardinals did this weekend, suck it up after a bad series and kick some ass? Or, do they hang their heads and continue to play like a team that isn't ready for prime time? I think that the next three nights will be awfully telling.

Trends:
Rangers' last 10: 4-6; last 20: 11-9; last 30: 19-11
Pirates' last 10: 4-6; last 20: 9-11; last 30: 13-17

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates
Series "on deck:" Texas Rangers - away- (81-61)
Pirates Current Record: 81-61
Number of series in 2013: 52
Series won: 25
Series swept: 7
Series lost: 16
Series in which they've been swept: 4
Series split: 5
Series played: 46
Home series played: 23
Home series won: 14
Home series lost: 7
Home series split: 2
Road series played: 23
Road series won: 11
Road series lost: 9
Road series split: 3
Overall series record: 25-16-5
Series remaining: 6

_________________
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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: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:23 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
I expect to see 15-18 strike outs


I thought the exact same thing.... :roll: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:32 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Time to wipe the hard drive clean - delete the virus and go back to fundamentals.

They had a chance to make it easy on themselves. That chance was blown, is now gone and cannot be recaptured. No use dwelling.


Precisely this.

This losing stretch was ill timed, but they happen.

If it happened two months ago and it was overcome (as in previous losing streaks), would anyone have noticed or dwelled?

Can't over magnify. Getting swept hurts; moreso when it's the team you're fighting in the divison race.

Must persevere though.

It will be tough.

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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:36 pm 
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My sick sense of humor is excited to see Kedro against Darvish. I'm thinking contact of any sort will be a win.

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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:03 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
My sick sense of humor is excited to see Kedro against Darvish. I'm thinking contact of any sort will be a win.


I'm expecting to see something like this at first:

Image

Then a progession to this:

Image

And a grand total of this:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:12 pm 
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Ha ha ha, we'll see some of those swings tonight!

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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:58 pm 
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Credit where credit is due. Kdro really hung in there on his final at bat and put a controlled inside-out swing on that pitch. Didn't try to yank it out the park. Stayed with it nicely. Get locked in . . . get locked in.

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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: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:14 pm 
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Its a crazy game. Leaves you shaking your head. If you would've told me on Monday morning that the Pirates would sweep the Rangers, I would have counseled you to stay away from whatever it is that you were smoking. While I was hoping for a series win, I was really looking for the Bucs to start playing better baseball heading into this incredibly key 11 game home stand. We saw some good pitching. We saw some timely hitting. We saw Gerritt Cole outpitch the likely AL Cy Young Award winner. We saw Liriano pitch a fantastic game. We saw some solid defense. All in all . . . an encouraging series.

The series win over the Rangers guaranteed that the '13 Bucs will have a winning record in road series this year. They are currently 12-9-3 in their road series with only two remaining. Their overall road record (39-36) leaves open the question of whether the Bucs will finish with a winning road record this year. To reflect backwards, they've been swept four times on the road this year (Dodgers, Braves, Rockies, Cardinals) and have swept the Angels and Rangers in three game series and the Mariners in a two game series on the road.

Back home. The "back stretch" of the final lap has arrived. Bucs are 45-25 at PNC Park this year. Cubs are in town for 4 games. Cubs are just coming off beating the Reds 2 of 3. Bucs lost their last series against the Cubs shortly before the AllStar break. The series this year favors the Pirates 7-5 but the Cubs haven't visited PNC Park since May. Time for the Bucs to assert themselves and put a beat down on a NL Central cellar dweller.

A quick glance at the standings shows that the Bucs have a 2 game lead in the loss column over the Reds. Taking 3 of 4 against the Cubs would be a fantastic way for the Bucs to keep their foot on the Reds' throats. It would force the Reds to sweep their three game Brewers in Milwaukee to gain a game in the loss column. It would also keep the pressure on the Cardinals and really put a damper on any thoughts that the Nats may have regarding catching the Pirates.

Eminently doable. Don't get me wrong. Taking 3 of 4 is no easy task . . . I don't care who is in the opposite dugout. Especially when the opponent has nothing to play for other than being a giant pain in the ass to any team scrambling for post-season contention. However, I like the match-up. Unlike the Cardinals and similar to the Rangers, the Cubs are less-disciplined hitters and are somewhat free-swinging. Pirate starting pitching should be able to take advantage. My biggest concern is with Locke and his ability to find the plate. I would hope that Hurdle has him on a short leash and, if Morton receives the all-clear for Friday, that Cumpton (or maybe Kris Johnson) is up in the pen early if Locke is struggling. I'm encouraged that Cole seems to be pitching as well as he has all year. Morton should offer trouble for the Cubs and I love Liriano against that lineup.

I've officially reached the point of being concerned with the righties not named Grilli or Melancon in the Bucs' pen. Morris is throwing very poorly - everything is up in the zone or thrown 59 feet. Mazzaro put out the fire yesterday but it was, at best, a shaky performance. His inability to find the strike zone early in the count concerns me. Gomez . . . I like him for long relief when needed . . . short relief . . .not so much. I anticipate that we may see Farnsworth a few times over the next week and it wouldn't shock me if he is a post-season roster player if the Bucs make it to the playoffs.

Hitting? Fingers are crossed. Cutch is locked in. Walker has been hitting better. I have hopes that Alvarez may be putting better contact on the ball. Byrd will be solid. Morneau, IMO, continues to look like a disciplined, professional hitter. Martin has frustrated the living crap out of me lately with taking called third strikes but . . his defense and handling of the staff mandates his appearance in the lineup. Also . . . he has shown a propensity to have big series from time to time. Now would be nice.

My take? "Home cooking" will benefit this team. I envision the Bucs getting three wins. Most concerned about tonight with Locke on the mound and a relatively unknown mound opponent. All in all, I see the Padres rolling into town facing a Bucs team that will be 87-62.

Its going to be a wild couple of weeks. The NL Central title race, NL wildcard jockeying and the AL wildcard race is going to make for some great theatre.

Trends:
Cubs' last 10: 5-5; last 20: 8-12; last 30: 11-19
Pirates' last 10: 5-5; last 20: 10-10; last 30: 14-16

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates
Series "on deck:" Chicago Cubs - home - (62-83)
Pirates Current Record: 84-61
Number of series in 2013: 52
Series won: 26
Series swept: 8
Series lost: 16
Series in which they've been swept: 4
Series split: 5
Series played: 47
Home series played: 23
Home series won: 14
Home series lost: 7
Home series split: 2
Road series played: 24
Road series won: 12
Road series lost: 9
Road series split: 3
Overall series record: 26-16-5
Series remaining: 5

_________________
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: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:05 am 
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Job task: Erase memories and play better baseball after disaster in St. Louis.
Rangers' series. Check.
Cubs' series. Check.
Padres series . . . here we go.

This is a no-doubt-about-it series. Absolutely have to take care of business against a team that is 12 games under .500 for the year and a whopping 20 games under .500 on the road. They are coming off of a series win against the (possibly disinterested) Atlanta Braves but they were beaten in the previous series in Philadelphia. They should be a bit road weary after the San Diego-Philadelphia-Atlanta-Pittsburgh trip and should be ripe for the Bucs to take this series.

I sure hope that Hurdle is pointing out that our beloved Bucs can't take anything for granted and that they took 3 of 4 from the Cubs by the absolute slimmest of margins. Yeah, you can look at the games and say that the Pirates were a Rizzo HR from sweeping the series but . . . on the other hand . . . they were a couple of plays away from looking at a 1-3 or 0-4 series as well. One need only look at the Reds' last two series to realize that nothing is a "given" in this game and remaining focused on the here and now is the most important task.

The damage that could be inflicted by a three win series is potentially immense. Winning three games would force the Cardinals to take 3 of 4 in a tough venue. It would require the Reds to sweep the Astros in Houston to get within 3 games in the loss column. Simply put, taking 3 from the Padres leaves very little wiggle room for the NL Central rivals.

I think that its going to happen. Burnett will set the tone tonight. Hopefully the bats will follow suit and once again give Burnett some runs to work with. After that, the pitching matches up pretty well. Ross (pitching on Wednesday) has put up some good numbers but mostly at Petco. He's been a much different pitcher on the road. I'd love to see the Bucs jump on them quickly in each of the games and see if the Padres wilt with disinterest. Would like nothing better than to see wide margined victories so that Hurdle and Searage can have a well rested pitching corps when the Reds roll into town for the next series.

I'm thinking that the Reds will be facing a 90 win team when they arrive. Bucs take the series 3-1 and will be 90-63 as of Friday morning. They'll be no worse than 3 games ahead of the Reds in the loss column.

Trends:
Padres' last 10: 6-4; last 20: 10-10; last 30: 15-15
Pirates' last 10: 6-4; last 20: 11-9; last 30: 16-14

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates
Series "on deck:" San Diego Padres - home - (62-83)
Pirates Current Record: 87-62
Number of series in 2013: 52
Series won: 27
Series swept: 8
Series lost: 16
Series in which they've been swept: 4
Series split: 5
Series played: 48
Home series played: 24
Home series won: 15
Home series lost: 7
Home series split: 2
Road series played: 24
Road series won: 12
Road series lost: 9
Road series split: 3
Overall series record: 27-16-5
Series remaining: 4

_________________
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: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:27 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Job task: Erase memories and play better baseball after disaster in St. Louis.
Rangers' series. Check.
Cubs' series. Check.
Padres series . . . here we go.

This is a no-doubt-about-it series. Absolutely have to take care of business against a team that is 12 games under .500 for the year and a whopping 20 games under .500 on the road. They are coming off of a series win against the (possibly disinterested) Atlanta Braves but they were beaten in the previous series in Philadelphia. They should be a bit road weary after the San Diego-Philadelphia-Atlanta-Pittsburgh trip and should be ripe for the Bucs to take this series.

I sure hope that Hurdle is pointing out that our beloved Bucs can't take anything for granted and that they took 3 of 4 from the Cubs by the absolute slimmest of margins. Yeah, you can look at the games and say that the Pirates were a Rizzo HR from sweeping the series but . . . on the other hand . . . they were a couple of plays away from looking at a 1-3 or 0-4 series as well. One need only look at the Reds' last two series to realize that nothing is a "given" in this game and remaining focused on the here and now is the most important task.

The damage that could be inflicted by a three win series is potentially immense. Winning three games would force the Cardinals to take 3 of 4 in a tough venue. It would require the Reds to sweep the Astros in Houston to get within 3 games in the loss column. Simply put, taking 3 from the Padres leaves very little wiggle room for the NL Central rivals.

I think that its going to happen. Burnett will set the tone tonight. Hopefully the bats will follow suit and once again give Burnett some runs to work with. After that, the pitching matches up pretty well. Ross (pitching on Wednesday) has put up some good numbers but mostly at Petco. He's been a much different pitcher on the road. I'd love to see the Bucs jump on them quickly in each of the games and see if the Padres wilt with disinterest. Would like nothing better than to see wide margined victories so that Hurdle and Searage can have a well rested pitching corps when the Reds roll into town for the next series.

I'm thinking that the Reds will be facing a 90 win team when they arrive. Bucs take the series 3-1 and will be 90-63 as of Friday morning. They'll be no worse than 3 games ahead of the Reds in the loss column.

Trends:
Padres' last 10: 6-4; last 20: 10-10; last 30: 15-15
Pirates' last 10: 6-4; last 20: 11-9; last 30: 16-14

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates
Series "on deck:" San Diego Padres - home - (62-83)
Pirates Current Record: 87-62
Number of series in 2013: 52
Series won: 27
Series swept: 8
Series lost: 16
Series in which they've been swept: 4
Series split: 5
Series played: 48
Home series played: 24
Home series won: 15
Home series lost: 7
Home series split: 2
Road series played: 24
Road series won: 12
Road series lost: 9
Road series split: 3
Overall series record: 27-16-5
Series remaining: 4


Wow, I really hadn't been paying much attention to the Padres of late but I am surprised how closely their record reflects the Bucs in their last 30 games. They have been playing better. I would really love to have a healthy Marte back to fortify the lineup and infuse some base stealing weaponry back at the top of the lineup. Don't get me wrong, Tabata has played well but he is not the threat that Marte is once on base and is not as good defensively. Hopefully, Morneau getting that long-awaited RBI will get him going and we get good Pedro back for the rest of the homestand.

Let's Go Bucs!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:53 pm 
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If truly "good Pedro" returns, the Pirates could go on quite a tear offensively. Let's hope it happens.


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:48 pm 
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The importance of the number 3. 3 series left. 3 important games on tap.

Anyone who regularly visits this board doesn't need to be told the importance of the next three games. The Pirates' playoff magic number has dropped to 4. The Reds' playoff magic number has dropped to 5. Barring a meltdown by either team and the Nationals staying red hot, both teams will play in a post-season game - perhaps against one another. Divisional title hopes will be impacted by this series. Wildcard hopes are impacted by this series. Location of the wildcard game will be impacted by this series.

Is this series "do or die?" Is this series "make or break?" Theoretically speaking, no. Losing this series to the Reds wouldn't be the end of the world. It just makes life that much tougher for the Bucs over the final 6 games of the year. The chances of a divisional title would be greatly hit and the chances of a home field wild-card play-in game would be markedly reduced. But . . . it would not be "season ending."

You have to like that Liriano is on the mound tonight for Game #1 whenever it is played. While Burnett has left a sour taste in my mouth for some of his actions lately, I like that he is on the mound for Game #2. I'm not thrilled with Locke on the mound for Game #3 but . . . it is what it is. Hopefully, the Bucs will have 2 in hand by the time that he takes the mound.

Reds counter with Latos (a notorious problem for the Bucs), Bailey (the Reds' best pitcher right now) and Arroyo. The match-ups look very comparable.

What will be the difference?

I'm holding out hope that PNC Park will be the difference. That the crowd will provide an electric atmosphere and the players will feed off of it. That the Reds' offense won't put up GABP numbers. That the Bucs will come out swinging like they did in the five game series against the Cardinals and have the Reds down early. That yesterday was the beginning of an uptick out of the offensive output from both Walker and Kdro (he always seems to produce after I call him that).

I don't see either team sweeping. I'm holding out hope that the Reds leave PNC Park and headed back to the Queen City down 2 in the loss column. My key? We need Liriano and Burnett's A games and we need to see a focused offensive approach against known mound opponents. The Bucs (with possible exception of Morneau) know what Latos, Bailey and Arroyo are bringing from the mound. If they can get into hitter's counts and avoid allowing Latos, Bailey and Arroyo from pitching ahead in counts for the majority of the game, they have a decent chance of plating some runs. If they are consistently behind and end up flailing at "pitcher's pitches," it may be a long series from the bottom half of the inning perspective.

Couldn't be a bigger basket case right now. Its nerve wracking but incredibly exciting. And fun.

Strap in fellas (and DocJeano), its going to be a wild and bumpy ride.

Trends:
Reds' last 10: 6-4; last 20: 13-7; last 30: 18-12
Pirates' last 10: 6-4; last 20: 11-9; last 30: 16-14

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates
Series "on deck:" Cincinnati Reds - home - (87-66)
Pirates Current Record: 88-65
Number of series in 2013: 52
Series won: 27
Series swept: 8
Series lost: 17
Series in which they've been swept: 4
Series split: 5
Series played: 49
Home series played: 24
Home series won: 15
Home series lost: 8
Home series split: 2
Road series played: 24
Road series won: 12
Road series lost: 9
Road series split: 3
Overall series record: 27-17-5
Series remaining: 3

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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: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:51 pm 
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I think PNC will be the difference too, and I surely don't want to see the Bucs heading into Great American Bandbox for a one-game playoff.

I would also like to see Martin nail Hamilton on a steal attempt.

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 Post subject: Re: Countdown 2013 version
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:39 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
The importance of the number 3. 3 series left. 3 important games on tap.


Johnny. Ray.

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