Well...........it didn't go off as planned. The Pirates limped to a 7-13 record and are now 8 1/2 games behind the first place Reds, 4 games behind the Braves who hold the #1 Wild Card spot, and now a 1/2 game behind the Cardinals for the #2 and final Wild Card spot.
This is the first time since late June that the Buccos have been on the outside looking in to the playoffs and most of us see this as a growing problem. One reason is the way they played against the bottom feeding San Diego Padres. The Padres took 5 of 6 games from the Buccos by just about every way possible. A 6 run comeback against J-Mac, hitting multiple homers off of AJ "the stopper" Burnett, a walk-off homer in the 10th inning after the Bucs crawled back into it by way of a ninth inning 2-out 2-run homer. Every way you could think the Padres beat us in it. Today frustrated me the most. The Friars sent a kid making his major league debut, after looking terrible in his last AAA start, and he dominated the Bucs. The guy was pitching against the Washington Wild Things only a couple years ago in the Frontier League and they scored more off of him then the Pirates could today. (UGH!)
Anyway, That is all over. There are no more games against NL West opponents, Padres included, which is a sigh of relief to the Bucco faithful. The focus now turns to the NL Central where the Buccos will play the next 28 games against (3 vs. Reds, 3 vs. StL, 9 vs. Mil, 6 vs. Hou, 7 vs. Chi) and only 7 more games against the NL East (3 vs. Atl, 4 vs. NYM) This will be the true test if the Pirates want to finally make the playoffs. They can easily gain that #1 spot over the Braves and they still have games remaining against the Cardinals to overtake the #2 spot. The only place we will really need help is for the division lead. The Reds will have to slip down the stretch for us to have a shot but that's why they play all 162. There are a lot of ball left folks, and even after a horrendous stretch we still find ourselves in contention.