Wild Card race – Pirates don’t know if they are coming or going
The Dodger lead in the wild card race is starting to dwindle, and the main culprit is the Pittsburgh Pirates. Just a few weeks ago the Pirates were being declared dead, and silly rumors of them trading off pieces were surfacing. No one is more Jekyll and hyde than the Pirates, and right now they are streaking upward with seven straight wins. More importantly for the Pirates, the latest wins all came at the expense of the Cardinals which allowed the Pirates to jump over the Cardinals into 2nd place in the NL Central.
With eighty-five games played, the Pirates already have winning streaks of seven, six, and five games. They also have two losing streaks of five games and two losing streaks of four game. Just two weeks ago they were five games under .500. Now they are three games over .500.
The Dodgers still have the best wild card record, but the Mets are now only 1/2 a game back, while the Pirates have moved to within 3 games. Miami is also only 3 games back, and though the Cardinals have lost three in a row to the Pirates, they are just 3.5 games back.
The Dodgers end the first half with a four-game home set against the last place Padres. It would behoove them to make some hay in these four games because right after the break, they embark on a nine game, three city road trip. As of now, they are ten games over .500 at home, but one game under .500 on the road.
Can the Frankenstein rotation hold it together for that road trip? Will anyone be alive in the bullpen when it is over? Someone has to pitch at least seven innings once. The last pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw to go at least seven innings was Scott Kazmir way back on May 14th. I can guarantee one thing. It won’t be tonight as Ryu makes his first start since the 2014 Postseason, and he’ll be lucky to even get 15 outs.