With the Pittsburgh Pirates returning from the All-Star break today, I wanted to take a look at the rest of their schedule. This will give you an idea of what they are up against with 65 games remaining in the season.

The Pirates have played 53 games at home and just 44 on the road, so that right there was a big advantage before the All-Star break. That’s going to get even more lopsided by August 5th when they wrap up their next homestand. The Pirates will then have just 19 home games left and 31 on the road.

Over the final 65 games, 37 of those games are against division rivals. That includes two straight road trips that each have three games against the St Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers. It also includes ten games against the first place Chicago Cubs, although only four of those games are at Wrigley.

The Pirates still have eight interleague games to play. Three of those games are in Cleveland to start next week. In mid-August they have a quick day/night two-game series in Minnesota. Then in late September, they host the Kansas City Royals for three games. That series versus the Royals is followed by the final ten games of the season, which are all against NL Central teams. The final seven games of the season are on the road, wrapping up on September 30th.

As far as strength of schedule, 44 of these last 65 games will be played against teams that currently have a record above the .500 mark. That doesn’t guarantee that they will be .500+ teams when they play the Pirates, but it gives you a great idea how tough the rest of the schedule looks right now.

So you basically have a remaining schedule where 57% of the games are on the road and 68% of the games are against teams with a better record than the Pirates. That clearly doesn’t favor the Pirates the rest of the way.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates were off yesterday. They resume play tonight in Cincinnati for a three-game series against the Reds. Jameson Taillon will get the start, coming off of his last outing on July 12th when he allowed one run over six innings and struck out ten batters against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Reds will counter with right-hander Tyler Mahle, who has a 4.02 ERA in 100.2 innings, with 98 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. He faced the Pirates way back on April 8th and allowed five runs over 4.2 innings.

The minor league schedule includes a doubleheader for Altoona, with Austin Coley and Scooter Hightower getting the starts. The GCL Pirates will complete an earlier suspended game before playing today’s regularly scheduled game. Indianapolis starter Clay Holmes has given up three runs over his last 31.1 innings in the minors. His last start was six shutout innings for the Pirates. West Virginia’s Travis MacGregor has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start this season, and he’s been under three earned runs in all but one game. Bristol starter Roger Santana allowed seven earned runs in his last game after giving up just two runs in his previous three starts combined. Morgantown’s Osvaldo Bido has allowed one run on three hits in each of his last two starts.

MLB: Pittsburgh (48-49) @ Reds (43-53) 7:10 PM
Probable starter: Jameson Taillon (3.91 ERA, 103:30 SO/BB, 106.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (51-44) @ Charlotte (45-52) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Clay Holmes (3.39 ERA, 71:30 SO/BB, 66.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (50-43) @ Reading (44-51) 5:35 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (2.00 ERA, 7:4 SO/BB, 9.0 IP) and Scooter Hightower (3.52 ERA, 9:1 SO/BB, 7.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (46-47) vs Daytona (51-43) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Mike Wallace (4.63 ERA, 52:11 SO/BB, 68.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (50-42) @ Lexington (49-45) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Travis MacGregor (2.59 ERA, 61:12 SO/BB, 48.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (12-21) @ Williamsport (12-20) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Osvaldo Bido (5.46 ERA, 24:9 SO/BB, 31:1 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (12-16) vs Burlington (8-21) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Roger Santana (5.09 ERA, 20:7 SO/BB, 23.0 IP)

GCL: Pirates (10-13) vs Phillies East 12:00 PM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates1 (19-21) vs Dodgers Guerrero 10:30 AM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates2 (15-23) vs Colorado 10:30 AM (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

From Altoona, two recent highlights. First is Will Craig hitting his system-leading 14th home run.

Second is Bralin Jackson making a nice catch in center field…watch the ball in his glove

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

7/19: Pirates release Johan De Jesus and Adonis Pichardo.

7/19: Chris Sharpe placed on West Virginia DL. Robbie Glendinning promoted from Morgantown.

7/16: Nick Burdi assigned to Bradenton on rehab.

7/16: Eric Wood placed on disabled list. Alfredo Reyes promoted to Indianapolis.

7/16: Pedro Vasquez placed on disabled list. Luis Escobar promoted to Altoona.

7/16: Jake Brentz activated from Bradenton disabled list.

7/16: Christopher Bostick assigned to GCL on rehab.

7/15: Pirates sign Alexander Mojica

7/15: Austin Meadows optioned to Indianapolis. Pirates recall Tanner Anderson

7/15: Clay Holmes optioned to Indianapolis

7/14: Austin Coley activated from Altoona disabled list.

7/14: Bo Schultz placed on Indianapolis disabled list. Jackson Williams activated from DL.

7/14: Pirates place Francisco Cervelli on DL. Recall Jacob Stallings and Clay Holmes.

7/11: Ardent Pabst promoted to Altoona. John Bormann assigned to Bradenton.

7/11: Mitch Keller and Clay Holmes assigned to Indianapolis. Sean Rodriguez assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including a Hall of Fame outfielder. We also have a game recap from the 2002 season. Starting with the two lesser known players born on this date, we have pitcher John Lamb and outfielder Harry Cassady. Lamb was a member of the 1971 World Series champs. He also played for the team in 1970 and 1973. He signed with the Pirates out of high school in 1964 and spent all 11 seasons of pro ball in the Pirates’ system. Cassady joined the Pirates in August of 1904 and hit .205 in 12 games before he was loaned to a minor league team, which ended his time in Pittsburgh. He played one more season in the majors, seeing time with the 1905 Washington Senators.

The Hall of Fame outfielder born on this date is Heinie Manush, who played briefly for the Pirates in 1938-39. He was used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter, making one appearance in the outfield during his 25 games in Pittsburgh. He went 4-for-28 for the Pirates and when they released him, it was to make room for Chuck Klein, who is also a Hall of Fame outfielder. Manush was at the end of his big league career when the Pirates got him, but he was a much better player in his prime. He hit .330 during his 17-year career.

On this date in 2002, the Pirates got a big day from Adam Hyzdu during a 15-6 win over the Cardinals. He homered twice and drove in seven runs. He hit three-run homers in the first and fifth innings. This big game came one day after he hit a grand slam in a 12-9 win over St Louis. You can find the boxscore for the 15-6 game here. The link above has a full game recap.

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