State of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2.0: Still Hanging On

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Jun 24, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco (25), left fielder Adam Frazier (26), and center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) celebrate after the Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 24, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco (25), left fielder Adam Frazier (26), and center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) celebrate after the Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) and left fielder John Jaso (center) and right fielder Gregory Polanco (25) celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) and left fielder John Jaso (center) and right fielder Gregory Polanco (25) celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Overall

Overall, the Pirates are a mediocre baseball team in a worse than mediocre division. Because of that, they theoretically still have a shot at a division championship, as they are four games out of first, trailing a Milwaukee Brewers team that, as we saw this past week, is not much better than the Pirates are.

Although the division title theoretically is not too far out of reach, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the Pirates end up making the playoffs. The Chicago Cubs are not likely to hover around the .500 mark forever, and we all know how dangerous that team is when everything is clicking. One thing that can help the Pirates in their quest, however, is the schedule.

Before this current stretch with Chicago, Millawkue and St. Louis, it had been over a month since Pittsburgh faced off with any NL Central opponent. Today the Pirates have recently finished a ten-game stretch against the Central and shortly will begin another ten with the same three teams starting July 7.

Next: 3 Indy Indians Named International League All-Stars

This, along with games against bottom feeders San Francisco and Philadelphia, could give the Bucs an opening to gain some ground. I’ve said before on Rum Bunter that if the Bucs are within five games of first when Starling Marte returns, things will be interesting. I stand by that theory, and the Pirates still have a good chance of getting that done.

Overall, things could be a lot better in the Steel City, but they could also be worse. Just ask St. Louis Cardinal fans.

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