Tomorrow the Pittsburgh Pirates will play their first playoff game since 1992, and their first playoff game ever at PNC Park. Some will stick with a “one game at a time” approach, and won’t appreciate looking ahead to the rest of the playoffs. However, the advantage I have is that my writing and looking ahead has zero impact on what the Pirates do on the field. Therefore, let’s take this opportunity to look at the 2013 playoff schedule, and see who the Pirates could potentially face, the dates for each game, and the probable starters.
I based the starters for the divisional series on the last homestand of the regular season, and based the NLCS and World Series on the divisional series. There’s definitely room for adjustments, and if the Pirates make those rounds, then I’m sure those conversations will get deeper. For now, this is an initial look, and the only people I was really focused on were Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett. Also, I have no clue who the Pirates could be facing as far as pitchers, even in the NLDS.
Wild Card Round
Opponent: Reds (Home)
Date: Tuesday, October 1st
Time: 8:07 PM
Probable Starter: Francisco Liriano (vs Johnny Cueto)
Potential Opponent: Cardinals
The times for this series are TBD. All games are scheduled to be on TBS, except for games one and four, which could be on MLB Network. All pitchers are probable, based on my best guess.
Game One: Thursday, October 3rd (@STL, A.J. Burnett)
Game Two: Friday, October 4th (@STL, Charlie Morton)
Game Three: Sunday, October 6th (vs STL, Francisco Liriano)
Game Four (If Necessary): Monday, October 7th (vs STL, Gerrit Cole)
Game Five (If Necessary): Wednesday, October 9th (@STL, A.J. Burnett)
Potential Opponents: Braves or Dodgers
The times for this series are TBD. All games are scheduled to be on TBS. All pitchers are extremely probable, based on my best guess. Morton and Cole would be up in the air, depending on who the Pirates wanted getting two possible starts.
Game One: Friday, October 11th (Road, Francisco Liriano)
Game Two: Saturday, October 12th (Road, Charlie Morton/Gerrit Cole)
Game Three: Monday, October 14th (Home, A.J. Burnett)
Game Four: Tuesday, October 15th (Home, Gerrit Cole/Charlie Morton)
Game Five (If Necessary): Wednesday, October 16th (Home, Francisco Liriano)
Game Six (If Necessary): Friday, October 18th (Road, Charlie Morton/Gerrit Cole)
Game Seven (If Necessary): Saturday, October 19th (Road, A.J. Burnett)
Potential Opponents: Boston, Detroit, Oakland, Cleveland, Texas/Tampa Bay
The times for this series are TBD. All games are scheduled to be on FOX. All pitchers are extremely probable, based on my best guess. The Pirates could go any different way here, including pitching Francisco Liriano on four days rest to have him in games one, four, and seven. That would mean they would only need three starters, freeing up Charlie Morton or Gerrit Cole for long relief. But this is a few weeks away, and hardly anything to focus too much on at this point.
Game One: Wednesday, October 23rd (Road, Francisco Liriano)
Game Two: Thursday, October 24th (Road, A.J. Burnett)
Game Three: Saturday, October 26th (Home, Charlie Morton)
Game Four: Sunday, October 27th (Home, Gerrit Cole)
Game Five (If Necessary): Monday, October 28th (Home, Francisco Liriano)
Game Six (If Necessary): Wednesday, October 30th (Road, A.J. Burnett)
Game Seven (If Necessary): Thursday, October 31st (Road, Charlie Morton)