Today marked the end of the unofficial first half of the season. To almost everyone’s surprise the Pirates currently sit 4 games over 500 at 47-43 and are only 1 game back in the division (0 in the loss column). Its been an amazing ride from Opening Day and the hopes here is that they will find a way for it to continue. Hopefully some of the surprising faces who stepped up to become key contributors can find a way to solidify thier spots and be with the Pirates for years to come.
The Pirates have also had thier fair shar of disappontments and underperformances if they can manage to get these corrected they could be a real threat to contend for the division this year. But we all know about the exciting first half the question is what is coming up?
The second half begins with 3 games against the Astros and then gets difficult with 13 games against the Reds, Cardinals, Philles and Braves. But that is not the stretch I want to mention right now. Looking ahead, which is never a good thing to do but lets do it anyway, the Pirates starting on August 12th and stretching to August 28th have 17 games in 17 days against the Cardinals, Reds and Brewers. If the Pirates manage to stay near the top of the division this stretch could very well be the one that could make them or break them. The strecth features 10 home games and 7 road games. 7 games against the Cards, 7 against the Brewers and 3 against the Reds.
Should the Pirates survive that stretch the rest of the schedule looks pretty manageable. They have one more series against all 3 of the Brewers, Cardinals and Reds but outside of that the final month appears to be pretty soft.
6 games against Houston (current W%: .326)
5 games against LAD (current W%: .446)
3 games against ChC (current W%: .402)
3 games against Fla (current W%: .473)
3 games against AZ (current W%: .533)
As I previously mentioned they also have 3 games series against the Cards, Reds and Brewers in there. That schedule is far from scary so if they manage to survive the stretch of games after the All Star break and the stretch in the middle of August things would be looking pretty good. If they can manage to at least hold thier own during the two stretches I mentioned we could be in for some very interesting and meaningful baseball in late Septemeber.