The Pirates are off today. The Pirates will not be off again until August 22nd. Between now and then they will
- Play a three-game series in Cincinnati against the NL Central-leading Reds. The Reds currently lead the Pirates by three games and they play at 12:35 this afternoon against the Padres. Ross Ohlendorf is pitching for the Padres.
- They go home for an 11-game homestand that includes four games against the Diamondbacks (currently 54-51, 2 1/2 back in the NL West, 5 1/2 back of the Braves for the second wild card (and thus 6 1/2 back of the Pirates), three against the Padres (44-62), and four against the Dodgers (56-50, one back of the Giants, four back of the Braves, five back of the Pirates).
- They go back on the road for three in St. Louis to play a dangerous Cardinal team that is currently 56-48 and four games behind the Pirates, but that pretty much everyone is expecting a surge from before this season ends.
- They close out with three games in San Diego, which isn’t all that bad except that they’re going from St. Louis to San Diego without an off day at the end of a 20-games-in-20-days stretch.
Nothing is over until it’s over, of course, and the Pirates will have 38 games after this ends, but this stretch could be make or break baseball for the Pirates’ playoff chances. Clay Davenport currently puts those chances at 51%. I hope you’re excited, because I certainly am.