Proud fans of a 132-year old tradition

It is currently Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:22 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:11 pm
Posts: 7659
Location: 120 miles west of Iowa City
Since the 7 game abysmal losing streak, we've seen the boys in black beat Atlanta once, take two of three from Milwaukee and two of three from St. Louis. Before the Tigers' series, we referred to the upcoming schedule as a 22 game nightmare which could make or break the season. These three games (and the following three with St. Louis) were included in that total.

Let's look back at how things played out:
Tigers at home: 2-0
Tigers away: 0-2
Nationals away: 0-3
Braves at home: 1-2
Brewers away: 2-1
Cardinals at home: 2-1
TOTAL: 7-9

That's not great. Not at all. How does it sound if you subtract Cutch out of the lineup for 15 games? Then add Walker's absence. Then add in the fact that Morton has a sports hernia and is struggling. It had the potential to be better (i.e. blowing two games against the Nats) but it hasn't killed them. The stretch isn't over but we (with the noted exceptions of Bucfana and Az) still have reason to hope.

As of right now, with 29 games left in the schedule, here's how the boys in black-and-gold stack up against the competition:

DIVISIONAL RACE
Winning the series with St. Louis coupled with the Brewers losing a series with the Padres keeps the Divisional Race analysis in play . . . for now.

Brewers: The Pirates have played the same number of games as the Brewers and are trailing the Brewers by 4 games in the loss column. They have 3 head to head games remaining. To have any legitimate chance of catching the Brewers, they need to win at least 2 of the final 3. The Pirates trail the season series to the Brewers 5-11. 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 3 games in the loss column. They have 3 head to head games left. Again, the Pirates must win that series to keep a division title in play. The season series is tied 8-8. If the Pirates were to win their next series with St. Louis and if the two teams were to tie for the division title, the one game playoff to determine division champion would be played at PNC. The loser would play in the wildcard game.

WILDCARD RACE
Giants: The Pirates have played the same number of games as the Giants and trail the Giants in the loss column by 2 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. If the Pirates and Giants tie for the second wildcard position, there would be a one game playoff at PNC Park to see which team advances to the wildcard game. If the Pirates and Giants were to tie for the top wildcard record, the wildcard game would be played at PNC Park.
Braves: The Pirates have played one game less than the Braves and are tied with the Braves in the loss column. The Braves lead the season series 2-1. The Pirates would have to win 3 of the final four head-to-head games against the Braves to gain any wildcard home field advantage.
Cardinals: The Pirates have played one more game than the Cardinals and are trailing the Cardinals by 3 games in the loss column. They have 3 head to head games left. While not absolutely necessary to gain a playoff berth, winning that series would be very important to a playoff run. Taking two of three from playoff contending teams will always advance the cause. The season series is tied 8-8. If the Pirates were to win their next series with St. Louis and if the two teams were to tie for the second wildcard position, the one game playoff to determine who advances would be played at PNC. If the Pirates and Cardinals were to tie for the top wildcard record, the wildcard game would be played at PNC Park.


UPCOMING THREE DAYS:

Some pitch framing analysts have claimed that Lucroy of the Brewers may be among the best in the game at pitch framing. For that reason alone, I found Roenicke's rants about umpiring to be humorous. Pot meet kettle. Perhaps the tension of the pennant race is getting to the Brewers a bit. They start a three game set with the Giants tonight in San Francisco and truly causes me to spin in circles with respect to whom I am rooting for in this set. On the one hand, the division title is the ultimate goal. On the other hand, playoff qualification may be a more realistic achievement. So . . . whom to root for?

Brewers' remaining schedule: Giants (3A); Cubs (3A); Cardinals (3H); Marlins (4H); Reds (3H); Cardinals (3A); Pirates (3A); Reds (3A); Cubs (3H)
Giants' remaining schedule: Brewers (3H); Rockies (4A); Tigers (3A); D'Backs (3H); Dodgers (3H); D'Backs (3A); Padres (3A); Dodgers (3A); Padres (4H)

I ask you . . . with those schedules, do the Pirates have a better chance of making up 2 games on the Giants or 4 games on the Brewers? Although I have wavered on this, I've officially concluded that I think that the Pirates have a better chance of catching the Brewers than they do the Giants. If 87 is the "magic" win total for playoff contention, I think that it will be easier - given the nature of their opponents - for the Giants to go 16-13 then it will be for the Brewers to go 14-15. So, even though the Pirates are chasing the Giants, I'm pulling for the Giants. That being written, it is awfully nice to write that one of those two teams will lose at least 2 games this weekend and the Pirates will have a golden opportunity to gain ground on one of their playoff contending foes. As a FYI, the Brewers took 2 of 3 from the Giants earlier this year at Miller Park.

The Braves took care of business against the Mets but it was tight. They start a three game set against the Marlins tonight in Atlanta. Although they were wavering on being in the wildcard discussion as a long shot, they've lost consecutive series to the Rockies and Angels and have practically no chance for playoff contention. Which means that they will relish playing the spoiler role, right? Right? They offered some help earlier this month and I'm banking on getting more help in this series. They are 7-6 against Atlanta this year and have outscored them by 5 runs in those 13 games. Atlanta still struggles to score and Miami can score, especially if Stanton starts going off. I like this match-up and will go out on a limb - Marlins will take two of three.

The Cardinals draw their rival - the Cubs for a four game weekend series (DH on Saturday) in St. Louis. The Cardinals are 7-5 against the Cubs this year. Although the Cubs have brought up Soler to join Baez, which has Cubs fans looking forward to the future, we care about "the now." And . . . the "now" has seen Rizzo out for the last two games. Haven't heard if he is expected to play but that is a big bat missing in the Cubs lineup. On the positive side, the Cardinals will face Hendricks (1.78 ERA) and Wood (lefties hurting the Cards). Molina likely re-joins the Cardinals this weekend and will be an immense boost. A potential division changing boost. I'm betting on the Cards taking this series, with the Cubs winning one. If the Pirates do what they need to do, they will hopefully head to St. Louis only down 3 in the loss column. After this series, the Cards and the Pirates will have played the same number of games.

The Reds have pretty much dominated the Pirates this year. However, the Reds have been one of the worst teams in the NL after the All-Star Break. Due in part to injuries, Phillips is back but Votto remains out. The Bucs don't catch a break with Cueto on the mound Sunday but I have serious doubts that the Reds will possess the same motivations this weekend. That's why I'm pulling for early runs by the Bucs in all 3 games. Take the Reds out of the game mentally early. Make 'em go through the motions. They've got little to play for and it isn't like the Cubs/Cardinals who have historically despised one another. While I'm not suggesting that the Reds will be unprofessional and "lay down," I'm suggesting that early leads by the Pirates may only further the Reds' desire to get the season over. As will be written until the Bucs are out of contention, they MUST win this series. Can't lose a series to a no-motivation, struggling non-contending team at PNC. This would be an outstanding time for a home sweep.

My "realistic" hopes for the standings on Monday morning?
Bucs within 3 of the Brewers and 3 of the Cardinals in the loss column.
Bucs within 2 games of the Giants in the loss column and ahead of the Braves by 1 in the loss column.

Baby steps . . . baby steps towards the playoffs.

_________________
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.


Last edited by No. 9 on Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:14 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:07 pm
Posts: 4369
I'm glad to see the Brewers in SF for the weekend. We're gaining ground on someone no matter what as long as we win.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:13 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:27 pm
Posts: 2991
Hey hey hey now. They beat the Brewers in Milwaukee! Can't let that bit of triumph go incorrectly labeled.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:31 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:07 pm
Posts: 4369
The Brewers also have a whopping 7 games left with the Cardinals. Hope they beat the crap out of each other.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:05 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:21 am
Posts: 7319
All tied up in STL.

T7.

_________________
Rage, rage against the regression of the light.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:28 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:21 am
Posts: 7319
4-2 CHC, T8. 0 outs.

Back to back doubles, the lead-changer by Javier Baez.

_________________
Rage, rage against the regression of the light.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:32 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:21 am
Posts: 7319
Soler goes yard again.

6-2 CHC.

_________________
Rage, rage against the regression of the light.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:38 am 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:27 pm
Posts: 2991
Very nice night for the Buccos. Do it again tomorrow!


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Whom to root for - August 29-31, 2014
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:43 am 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:11 pm
Posts: 7659
Location: 120 miles west of Iowa City
RTJR wrote:
Hey hey hey now. They beat the Brewers in Milwaukee! Can't let that bit of triumph go incorrectly labeled.


Indeed.
Fixed it and edited the upcoming games for St. Louis. They play a DH against the Cubs today.

_________________
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.


Top
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group  
Design By Poker Bandits