Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – what to know for the double-header


Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’€™ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items your way from around the web as well.

What to know for the double-header

Because the Tuesday night game between the Pirates and the Cardinals was postponed due to rain, the two teams will play a double-header on Wednesday. In the Wednesday afternoon game, Gerrit Cole will face off against Michael Wacha, which should prove to be a very exciting pitching matchup. In the Wednesday night game, Charlie Morton will take on Tyler Lyons, the latter of whom is taking the spot of Carlos Martinez in the Cardinals’ rotation. The Cardinals’ magic number is down to two, so if the Pirates lose any of these next two games, the Cardinals will clinch the NL Central title. If the Pirates win the next two games, they will move to two games back of the Cardinals. Then, it order to just tie for the division, the Pirates will need to either a) sweep the Reds while the Cardinals win only one game of their final series or b) win two out of three games against the Reds while the Cardinals get swept. The Pirates can also win the division outright in they win the next two games and sweep the Reds while the Cardinals get swept by the Braves.

Essentially, it will be very difficult, but not impossible for the Pirates to win the division. First and foremost, the Pirates have to win these next two games against the Cardinals or they will be mathematically eliminated. Then, they have to hope the lowly Braves can pull off some magic while the Pirates take care of business against the Reds. Stranger things have happened, but the Pirates haven’t been eliminated just yet. So until they do, keep holding out hope.

More from Pirates News

The Pirates will also clinch home field in the Wild Card game here shortly, barring a collapse. While it’s also not impossible for the Pirates to lose that home field advantage, with the Reds remaining on the schedule, and with a sense of desperation in this Pirates’ team, there’s no reason Pittsburgh shouldn’t lock down home field.

And in other news, Andrew McCutchen continues to slump. McCutchen is batting .174 over the past seven days, and his average may slip below .290 before season’s end. He’s also been stuck on 95 RBIs since September 19th during the Dodgers’ series. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that McCutchen would reach 100 RBIs at that point and set a career high in that area. But now it seems like he may not reach that total. McCutchen is one player that definitely needs to step up if the Pirates want to go far in the postseason.

Around the net

Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review argues that Gregory Polanco‘s base-running and fielding woes are seriously hurting the Pirates as of late, and I can’t argue with him. Check out his piece here.

And in case you were curious, yes, leaving as many runners as the Pirates left on base on Monday night is historically bad. Find out how bad here.

These Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t been eliminated from the division race just yet. And until they do get eliminated, don’t give up hope. Stranger things have happened.

Next: Has J.A. Happ cemented his status as the 3rd postseason starter?