The Pittsburgh Pirates currently trail the NL Central by four games. They are also 7.5 games back of the second wild card spot. With an off-day today, it seems like a good time to check their remaining schedule for the season.
The Pirates won’t have another day off until August 31st and then they play straight through for the next 13 days. So from August 15th until September 13th, they play 29 games in 30 days. The schedule isn’t as grueling after that point. From September 14th until October 1st, they play 15 games in 18 days and the only road trips are Cincinnati and Washington, so the travel won’t be bad either.
The NL Central is led by the Chicago Cubs right now. The Pirates played them seven times the rest of the way. Three of those games are later this month in Chicago and the other four are next month at home.
The St Louis Cardinals trail the Cubs by one game. The Pirates have four games this weekend against the Cardinals at home, although Sunday’s game will be played in Williamsport. Just a note on that game for you history buffs. The Pirates have only played two home games outside of Pittsburgh in their history. Both in 1890, one being played in Canton, Ohio and the other in Wheeling, WV. The Pirates and Cardinals meet six times in September, three in each place, so these two teams meet up ten more times still this season.
The Milwaukee Brewers are in third place in the NL Central. The Pirates play them eight more times, including tomorrow and Wednesday in Milwaukee. In September, they play three in each place.
With 44 games left in the season, 25 are against teams ahead of the Pirates in the NL Central.
As for those 19 remaining games, the Cincinnati Reds host the Pirates three times this month and three times next month. The month of September starts off with three against the Reds in Pittsburgh. That means 34 of 44 games remaining are teams in the division.
The other ten games are not easy. Four against the best team in baseball, as the Los Angeles Dodgers visit Pittsburgh next week. The last four games of the season are in Washington against the NL East leading Nationals. The other two games are against the Baltimore Orioles late next month. Those games are in Pittsburgh, and it’s interesting to note that the Orioles have the same 58-60 record as the Pirates.
So basically, 33 of the remaining 44 games are against teams with an above .500 record. Two are against a team with the same record and nine games are against the Reds, who have an 8-2 record against the Pirates this season. If you remember from earlier in the season, the Orioles also took both games of a two-game series in Baltimore.
To sum that up, 33 games against .500+ teams and 11 games versus teams with a 10-2 record this year against the Pirates.
The Pirates trail in their division by four games. They are 7.5 games back for the second wild card spot.
Indianapolis is in first place, with a 4.5 game lead. Their season ends September 4th.
Altoona is in a tie for first place. Their season ends September 4th.
Bradenton is in fourth place, 5.5 games behind. Their season ends September 3rd.
West Virginia is in third place, 2.5 games out of first. Their season ends September 4th.
Morgantown is in first place, 1.5 games ahead. Their season ends September 7th.
Bristol is in last place, 18 games back. They can be eliminated today. Their season ends August 31st.
The GCL Pirates are in third place, seven games behind. Their season ends September 2nd.
The DSL Pirates are in third place, 3.5 games back. Their season ends August 26th.
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 7-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates have off today before starting a quick two-game series on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Pirates will send Ivan Nova to the mound for his 24th start in the series opener. He has posted a 6.67 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. On the road this season, Nova has a 4.73 ERA in 13 starts. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Brandon Woodruff, who has a 1.50 ERA in two starts this season.
In the minors, it’s a light day on the schedule with Indianapolis, Altoona, West Virginia and Morgantown all having the day off. Morgantown is on their All-Star break, with the game taking place on Tuesday night. They are sending five players to the All-Star game. Gage Hinsz returns to Bradenton tonight, coming off a short disabled list stint, which caused him to miss two starts. Cody Bolton is scheduled for the GCL Pirates and Bristol should be sending Hunter Stratton to the mound. Bristol needs to finish last night’s game first, which was suspended in the 3rd inning with Bristol winning 6-4.
MLB: Pittsburgh (58-60) @ Brewers (61-59) 7:40 PM 8/15
Probable starter: Ivan Nova (3.87 ERA, 21:94 BB/SO, 149.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (67-53) @ Buffalo (54-67) 7:05 PM 8/15 (season preview)
Probable starter: Drew Hutchison (3.73 ERA, 46:101 BB/SO, 130.1 IP)
AA: Altoona (62-57) @ Portland (57-60) 7:00 PM 8/15 (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (4.65 ERA, 33:86 BB/SO, 102.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (63-53) vs Daytona (44-70) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Gage Hinsz (5.61 ERA, 30:52 BB/SO, 93.0 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (57-59) vs Lexington (54-64) 7:05 PM 8/15 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD
Short-Season A: Morgantown (31-22) vs State College (29-23) 7:05 PM 8/16 (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD
Rookie: Bristol (11-38) @ Pulaski (33-16) 7:00 PM
GCL: Pirates (15-27) vs Tigers East (11-30) 12:00 PM
DSL: Pirates (33-27) vs Indians (22-34) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Here is a strikeout from Steven Brault on Saturday night when he threw his second consecutive seven shutout inning performance.
8/12: Phil Gosselin claimed on waivers by Texas Rangers.
8/10: Jhan Marinez claimed on waivers by Texas Rangers.
8/10: Nick King assigned to GCL Pirates.
8/9: Joey Terdoslavich placed on Indianapolis disabled list.
8/8: Matt Anderson placed on West Virginia disabled list. Blake Cederlind activated from disabled list.
8/8: Jerrick Suiter activated from Temporary Inactive List. Jake Brentz assigned to Bradenton.
8/7: Dovydas Neverauskas optioned to Indianapolis. George Kontos added to active roster.
8/7: Danny Ortiz sent outright to Indianapolis.
8/7: Gage Hinsz placed on disabled list. Alexis Bastardo released.
8/7: Carlos Munoz promoted to Bradenton. Brent Gibbs activated from West Virginia disabled list.
8/7: Austin Meadows assigned to Morgantown on rehab.
8/6: Max Moroff optioned to Indianapolis. Sean Rodriguez added to active roster.
8/5: Pirates claim George Kontos off waivers. Designate Jhan Marinez and Danny Ortiz for assignment.
8/5: Pirates acquire Sean Rodriguez from Atlanta Braves for Connor Joe.
8/5: Wade LeBlanc reinstated from bereavement list.
8/4: Mitch Keller promoted to Altoona. Jerrick Suiter placed on the temporarily inactive list.
8/4: Michael de la Cruz assigned to GCL Pirates
8/4: James Marvel promoted to Bradenton. Oddy Nunez activated from West Virginia disabled list.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a transaction of note. On this date in 1911, the Pirates sold first baseman John Flynn to St Paul of the American Association, which is where the Pirates purchased him from following the 1909 season. During that 1909 season, the Pirates went with Bill Abstein at first base all season. Despite the fact he was a regular and they won the World Series, he was not well liked. Fans believed that he didn’t always give 100% and he wasn’t the smartest baseball player. After the season, the Pirates brought in two minor league first baseman to compete for the job, with Flynn eventually winning over Bud Sharpe. By 1911, future Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie took over the spot and Flynn became expendable.
Dale Coogan, 1950 first baseman. He made the Opening Day roster as a rookie, but by July he was sent back to the minors for more seasoning. The Pirates actually called him up in September 1950 and 1951, though he never played after that first July. He ended up spending the next two years in the Army and he wasn’t able to regain his skills after the time off, spending the rest of his career in the minors.
Alex McKinnon, first baseman on Opening Day in 1887, the first Pittsburgh game in NL history. The Alleghenys moved from the American Association to the NL following the 1886 season and they purchased McKinnon that December. He was hitting .340 through 48 games in 1887 when he came down with typhoid pneumonia. He ended up passing away 20 days after his last game with Pittsburgh. You can read a full bio of McKinnon here.