That’s the standings after last night; After the Pirates swept a doubleheader from the Cardinals. If somebody had told me in march that the Pirates would have the best record in baseball at the end of July 30th, and be in the middle of making the Cardinals look bad…. I never would’ve believed it.
This is just about the time of year when Pittsburgh’s supposed to pull off their sudden collapse trick, and wind up under .500 yet again. Now though, they look like they’re making it clear they’re as good as anybody.
St Louis will probably beat ’em tonight, ’cause Wainwright’s scheduled to start. But even if they do, the Pirates will still be 1/2 game up in the division when August begins.
So the Pirates might actually be a contender when September begins. There’s an entire generation of baseball fans who’ve never seen that. Before the team gets that far though, they’ll reach 81 W’s.
The Pirates have 28 games on the schedule in August, and need just 17 W’s to reach the 81 mark for the season. So if they still need 17 wins when the month begins, then they can reach 81 if they go 17-11 (.607) or better in August. That wouldn’t be beyond them either, as they went 19-9 (.679) in May and 17-9 (.659) in June. Also, they’ll be facing a number of teams they should be able to handle.—
- 6-2 against the Cardinals (3 home, 3 away)
- 0-0 against the Rockies (3 home, 3 away)
- 1-2 against the Marlins (3 home)
- 2-1 against the Diamondbacks (3 home)
- 0-0 against the Padres (3 away)
- 2-1 against the Giants (4 away)
- 9-4 against the Brewers (3 home)
The NL West is weak this year, so I think Pittsburgh won’t have much problem with the Rockies, Padres, and Giants. The Diamondbacks might give ’em a series loss tho. I doubt the Marlins will win the season series against the Pirates. The Brewers and Cardinals seem to be no match for the Pirates.
Fans should start lining up for tickets to the Pirates homestand at the end of the month (Aug 27 – Sep 1). It’ll be 6 games against the Brewers and Cardinals. Sometime during that homestand, is when I think they’ll secure a .500 season for the first time since 1992. It’s too soon to tell which game it’ll likely be.