Way back, in early July, I made a set of predictions in a comment on how the rest of the season would likely play out. Given that the July games are gone, here's the rest of it:
I know there have been a lot of posts on how our season is on the line, and how the next stretch of games are the key ones, etc, but here's the stretch that I think is really going to determine the fate of the team-- the 7 games against the Cubs and the Padres. How the team rebounds from the beating they took (both physically and record wise) from the 10 games against Atlanta, Philly and STL will tell us a lot about this team. Their chances for contention are all but gone, and .500 is a realistic target at this point, but a big step-down from heady post-season contention aspirations. At the same time, they could easily have won 2 of the 7 games they lost in the last 3 series, and we'd be feeling very different.
The losses, however, are in the books, and the only way out is to put the Ws up. They won't get a better chance than the next 7 games, and to harbor any remote hopes of contention the team needs to go 5-2 or better.
If the above predictions hold overall, we are looking at a 73-72 record, with the 17 games against the Reds (3), Cards (7), Brewers (4) and Astros (3) in the balance, and we'll need to win 9 to finish with a winning record. I think we could do that, although if the team doesn't do well in the early part of the month, we could start to see a lot of players (Hanrahan, Lee, Ludwick, Veras, Resop) be talked about for August trades (I doubt Hanrahan clears waivers, but we should still be trying), and that can have an effect on the team down the stretch.
August should be, at least, somewhat interesting with the draft pick signing deadline coming up and Cole and Bell still up for grabs. Tim reports that the Pirates have signed 7th rounder Jake Burnette, though. And the Bucs will, hopefully, come up with a big effort with their 2011 season on the line.
EDIT: Curious to see where people now think this team will end based on their current record and upcoming schedule-- my prediction is 83-79.