Pittsburgh Pirates (84-71)
Atlanta Braves (76-79)
Monday, September 22nd – 7:10 pm
Tuesday, September 23rd – 7:10 pm
Wednesday, September 24th – 7:10 pm
Thursday, September 25th – 7:10 pm
Turner Field – Atlanta, GA
Follow us on Twitter @ForbesToFederal.
At the beginning of September, the Pirates and Braves had nearly identical playoff odds. We thought this would be a huge series…
The Pirates are 13-6 in September and on the verge of a postseason berth, while the Braves are 4-14 and have been officially eliminated from contention. While there are still implications for the Pirates, the Braves’ season is over.
The Bucs look to finish strong with seven games remaining in the regular season.
Thursday – Edinson Volquez vs. TBD
News, Notes, Storylines
– The Pirates magic number is down to 3. That is, any combination of Pirates’ wins and Brewers’ losses that equals three will get the Bucs in the postseason.
– The Buccos are tied with the Giants in the Wild Card. If they remain tied or the Pirates take the lead, the WC game would be played at PNC Park next Wednesday. (The Pirates have the tiebreaker over SF, as they won 4 of 6 games against them this year.) The Giants play the Dodgers on the road the next three days, then face the Padres at home for four games this weekend. They’ll have to line up against Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Andrew Cashner, etc. this week… We’ll see what happens.
– The Pirates are also 2.5 out of first place in the Central… Not likely, but still within reach. The Cardinals play the Cubs at Wrigley the next three days.
– One day after being mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, the Braves have fired their general manager, Frank Wren.
What they’re saying:
[quote_simple]”The Braves’ future isn’t dim, and there are ways to work around the mistakes of Wren, but the man himself could never quite figure out how to do it effectively. That task now falls to his successor.” – SB Nation[/quote_simple]
Player to Watch
Francisco Liriano. His Pirate career is likely winding down, and he’s been absolutely dominant as of late. Liriano’s surrendered just one run over his last 22 innings; since the All-Star break, 18 earned in 75 innings = 2.16 ERA. He’s allowed two runs or less in all but one of his second half starts. Dating back to May 30th (through some missed time due to injury), he has a 2.43 ERA in 16 games. After an up-and-down career, Liriano has pieced together two solid years in a row here in Pittsburgh. He’ll get the ball on Monday night.
Pirates win three of four and pop champagne at Turner Field.