The next run of games leading into the beginning of August is going to say a lot about the 2012 Pirates. The schedule is not especially hard, so the Bucs will have a good chance to (hopefully) put some distance between themselves and the Reds and Cardinals. In these 19 games, the Bucs play 3 at the Milwaukee, 3 at Colorado, 3 at home vs. Miami, 3 at home vs. Chicago, 4 at Houston and 3 at Chicago. The combined record of these opponents is 213-298.
3 @ Mil: Greinke vs JMac is the scheduled match-up in the first game, after that Milwaukee's starters are TBA.
3 @ Col: Colorado's pitching is a mess, we counter with Karstens, Bedard and JMac.
3 vs Mia: There's a day off in the schedule before this series starts on Friday 7/20, so while it will be KC's turn in the rotation, Burnett may get the call as he will be fully rested. I think a lot is going to be riding on KC's performance in Milwaukee this coming Saturday.
During the first nine games, I believe it is very reasonable to expect a 5-4 record. Colorado is bad and Miami is slumping, but who knows if the Pirates have fully exorcised their Miller Park demons?
3 vs. Chi: If KC gets skipped in the Miami series, we'll see JMac, KC and Burnett in this series. At this point, the Cubs could be without Dempster or Garza (one of them may even be pitching for us.)
3 at Chi: It's hard to predict the pitchers this far ahead, but if things stay as they are the Cubs will miss JMac but will not be able to avoid Burnett. The Cubs will almost certainly be without Dempster and/or Garza and possibly Maholm.
During the second nine games plus 1, I think it's very reasonable to expect the Pirates to go 7-3. Chicago and Houston are two of the worst teams in baseball and are both likely to be off-loading players in the next few weeks. During the entire 19 game stretch, both JMac and Burnett will most likely start 4 games apiece.
So, after the completion of Wednesday afternoon's game on August 1, I think it is fair to think the Bucs could accumulate 12 wins to go against 7 losses, good for a .632 win % during that span. That would make their record 60-44 on 8/1, putting them 16 games over .500, probably keeping pace for the division title, and needing only 22 wins in the remaining 2 months to finish with 82 wins. (I'm hoping they make the playoffs, but if they fall out of the race, a winning season to break the streak would be a nice consolation prize.)
The Pirates have a great opportunity to continue their amazing season - let's hope they can make us proud!
P.S. Apologies for the similarity to SlinkyABC's post, which I hadn't seen yet when I started this!
How many wins do you expect from the next 19 games?
8 or less (4 votes)
9 or 10 (25 votes)
11 or 12 (96 votes)
13 or 14 (42 votes)
15 or more (6 votes)
173 total votes