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 Post subject: Whom to root for - August 22-24, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:11 pm
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Location: 120 miles west of Iowa City
A couple of quick observations after the completion of series played earlier this week:
1. The Pirates didn't help themselves much with a couple of embarrassing pitching performances. The road to the playoffs did not get one bit easier. The Bucs would definitely benefit from sweeping a series and gaining some momentum.
2. Put a fork in the Reds. They are done.
3. Do the Marlins merit a look? Not including them yet . . .

As of right now, with 35 games left in the schedule, here's how the boys in black-and-gold stack up against the competition:

DIVISIONAL RACE
I'm really tempted to throw in the towel on this analysis. However, with 3 games on tap with the division leaders, a sweep could put the Bucs back into the discussion. Its a long shot given that the 3 games are in the House of Horrors but . . . one can always dream . . . right?

Brewers: The Pirates have played the same number of games as the Brewers and are trailing the Brewers by 6 games in the loss column. They have 6 head to head games remaining, starting tonight. To have any legitimate chance of catching the Brewers, they need to win at least 4 of the final 6. The Pirates trail the season series to the Brewers 3-10. Thus, the Brewers have clinched the advantage in any tiebreaker.
Cardinals: The Pirates have played one more game than the Cardinals and are trailing the Cardinals by 5 games in the loss column. They have 6 head to head games left. Again, the Pirates can't push against the Cardinals. They need to win at least 4 of the final 6. The Pirates trail the season series to the Cardinals 6-7.

WILDCARD RACE
Giants: The Pirates have played one game more than the Giants and trail the Giants in the loss column by 3 games. They have no more games against one another. The Pirates won the season series 4-2 and hold a tiebreak advantage over the Giants.
Braves: The Pirates have played one game less than the Braves and trail the Braves by 1 in the loss column. After the just completed series, the Braves lead the season series 2-1. They have four more head-to-head games (in Atlanta) in the last week of the season.
Cardinals: The Pirates have played one more game than the Cardinals and are trailing the Cardinals by 5 games in the loss column. They have 6 head to head games left. Again, the Pirates can't push against the Cardinals. They need to win at least 4 of the final 6. The Pirates trail the season series to the Cardinals 6-7.

UPCOMING THREE DAYS:

The Cardinals finished off the Reds by sweeping the series earlier this week. Unfortunately, the Cardinals' schedule gets even easier as they head to Philadelphia to play a brain dead Phillies club. The numbers don't match up well for the Pirates catching the Cardinals. A 5 game deficit in the loss column is tough to make up in 35 games. Simply put, we have to cross our fingers and hope that the Cardinals' hitting woes return and they hit a rough patch. I just have zero confidence that the rough patch will start with the Phillies in the opposite dugout. Realistically, I'm hoping that the Phillies avoid the sweep and take one game. However, I'd be thrilled if the Phillies could grab 2. The Bucs not only have to start winning, they are going to need some unexpected help. How about a little help from the Eastern Pennsylvania club?

The Giants face an incredibly hot Nationals team and this is simply a series that the Pirates must have go their way. The Giants' opponents from here on out are not exactly "difficult." Pirate fans must hope that some Natitude prevails and the Giants take it in the shorts hard this weekend. The Giants had an unusual series in Chicago (to say the least) and finished a (kind of) DH yesterday. Hoping that they got into Washington late and are lethargic tonight. Again, to have a realistic wildcard shot, its my opinion that the Bucs have to close the gap with the Giants - by at least one game.

The Braves draw a team in complete surrender mode - the Reds. They don't have to face Cueto. On paper, this doesn't look good. The Reds look as though they've thrown in the towel and are going through the motions. How about this for Jeckyl/Hyde? The Reds were 51-44 at the All Star Break and 1.5 games behind the Brewers. They are 10-23 after the break (.303). That's not even winning 1 of 3 games after the break. I fear that winning one of the next three against the Braves is about as good as we can legitimately hope for.

The Brewers and Pirates play three games at the House of Horrors beginning tonight. History says winning 1 of 3 is optimistic. That won't cut it. Bucs can't afford to lose the series. Must win the series. The "A" team will be back for all 3 games. Time for some guys to hit stride, get hot and cause the Brewers bungholes to tighten a bit.

_________________
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: Whom to root for - August 22-24, 2014
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:28 am 
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Location: 120 miles west of Iowa City
No. 9 wrote:
Simply put, we have to cross our fingers and hope that the Cardinals' hitting woes return and they hit a rough patch. I just have zero confidence that the rough patch will start with the Phillies in the opposite dugout. Realistically, I'm hoping that the Phillies avoid the sweep and take one game. However, I'd be thrilled if the Phillies could grab 2.


C'mon Philly . . . one more today. Just one more . . .

No.9 wrote:
The Giants face an incredibly hot Nationals team and this is simply a series that the Pirates must have go their way. Again, to have a realistic wildcard shot, its my opinion that the Bucs have to close the gap with the Giants - by at least one game.


Would be nice to see Strasburg toss a gem today.

No. 9 wrote:
Bucs can't afford to lose the series. Must win the series. The "A" team will be back for all 3 games. Time for some guys to hit stride, get hot and cause the Brewers bungholes to tighten a bit.


Anyone else wondering if the Brewers woke up this morning, looked at the standings and said to themselves "damn . . . we're tied with the Cardinals in the loss column . . ." ? Play tight Milwaukee. Play tight.

_________________
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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