Life after Littlefield: The last hurrah

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This is it.  The Pirates have 20 games in 20 days starting this afternoon at 2:20 p.m. in Chicago against the Cubs.  If there is any chance of the Pirates saving this season it begins today with James McDonald taking the hill and pitching the way he did the first half of the season, lights out.

In these next 20 days the Pirates play the Cubs, Brewers, Astros, Mets Reds, and Braves.  In some way, shape, or form they need to win half of those games to break the streak.  For this season to actually be considered a success, they will need to win about 15 of those games.  15 wins puts them in a good spot to possibly win the 2nd Wild Card spot.  However, based on the team’s disastrous play in the past month none of this seems likely.

But then there is the “what if” factor.  What if Andrew McCutchen finds his stroke again and gets his average back in the .360 ballpark?  What if Neil Walker, Travis Snider, and Starling Marte all come back from their injuries and produce like expected?  What if Pedro gets white-hot again and somehow finishes the season with a homerun total around 38?  What if the entire pitching staff finds the magic and moxie they had throughout the first half of the season?  And finally what if Clint Hurdle can make this team play like his 2007 Colorado Rockies and finish this season’s last 20 games 20-0?

But in reality, the odds of any of the previously mentioned dynamics actually happening are highly unlikely.  McDonald needs to save this sinking ship today and pass the torch down the line tomorrow.  It all starts today.