The 2011 Pirates hit their high point at 51-44 (.537) on July 19. In the 24 games since that date, the team has played at a 5-19 (.208) pace. I was hoping the 10-game losing streak was just a (very) bad patch and that the team would recover and play reasonably competitive ball for the remainder of the season.
I was thinking in terms of a 75-87 finish. That would still be an 18-game improvement over 2010, and would equal the Pirates best finish since Y2K. However, this sweep by the Brewers, along with the upcoming schedule, AND the 5-19 pace since July 19, has me worried that 75-87 is too optimistic.
The current record of 56-63 (.471) still extrapolates to 76-86. If the team plays .500 ball from here on out, they'll finish with 77 or 78 wins. On the other hand, if they play at that 5-19 pace till the end of the season, they will win only 9 more games..... for a final record of 65-97. Surely they can't do worse than that.
As I've posted elsewhere, I see no reasonable probability that the team can break the string of losing seasons in 2011. They would need to go 26-17 (.605) for the remainder of the season to finish at 82-80. In fact, it appears that a 5th place finish is more likely than a .500 finish.
So..... this brings 2 questions to mind:
1. What do you think the Bucs' final record will be? (My guess is 75-87, and I see that as optimistic.)
2. What do you think this team needs to do to have a winning season in 2012? (I was gonna ask, what's the most significant thing this team needs to do?..... but I think it's gonna take several significant things..... so I didn't want to limit anyone's answer to just one thing.)