Monday, September 1, 2014

All Games Count - Even the Ones in April

On this Labor Day, 2014, the Pirates sit at  71-65 in third place in the NL  Central, two games out of first place and two games out of the final wild Card spot.  By all accounts, it has been a pretty exciting season, and it looks like the Bucs are going to give us a nice ride over the final month of the season.  

Just for fun, I decided to do a little research to put to rest the old cliche that now that it's September and the weather gets chilly and the stadiums get packed, these are the games that "really count".  In point of fact, those games played in the chilly days of April before sparse crowds actually count too.  Here is how the team has fared, month-by-month:

April 10-18
May 16-12
June 17-10
July 15-11
August 13-14

So, had the Pirates been able to reverse that April record and gone 18-10, today they would 79-57, and would have far and away, the best record in the National League.  Even had they just scraped by in April at 14-14, their record today would be 75-61, which would still be the best record in the League.  And keep in mind that some of those additional April wins could possibly have been additional losses for the Brewers or Cardinals.

Moral of the Story:  All Games Count - Even the Ones in April.

The Bucs now have 26 games remaining.  I had predicted at the beginning of the season that they would win 89 games.  They will have to go 18-8 to achieve that, and that is really asking a lot, but if they do, then I'd say the NL Central championship would be theirs.   Playing .500, 13-13, would give then 84 wins and would probably not be good enough for a wild card spot. 16-10 would probably put them in the playoffs.  It's asking a lot, but the team is capable of doing it.  And as April and that stretch in mid-August showed, they ware also capable of going 11-15.  

Either way, it is going to be an exciting ride to the finish.


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