Both the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates will continue season-long tendencies this coming Wednesday in Pittsburgh, as the Giants will win their third consecutive game-or more-for the twelfth time and the Pirates will lose their third game in a row, for the ninth time.
You see, the Pirates, like the Giants, are a streak team. Eight times this season the Pirates have lost three games in a row-OR more. They lost three in a row April 11-13 (Brewers) and April 18-20 (Brewers); four in a row April 22-25 (Reds/Cardinals); three in a row May 15-18 (Brewers/Yankees), June 15-18 (Marlins/Reds), and July 7-9 (Cardinals); lost SEVEN in a row from August 13-19 (Tigers/Nationals/Braves), and lost four in a row from August 31-September 3 (Reds/Cardinals). Having lost Saturday and Sunday to Cincinnati, the Pirates are due to lose their third in a row for the ninth time this season.
The fascinating element to me is that every team involved in the loss streaks is/was a contending team. The Reds and the Marlins dipped below .500 at the end, but none of the teams that gave Pittsburgh fits during the regular season was a pushover.
Oct 9, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) stretches before game five of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants, on the other hand, have won three in a row-or more-eleven times this season. Unlike the Pirates, who lost the last two games of the regular season, the Giants won their last two games of the regular season.
The Giants are not a pushover. Even though the Pirates did take both series from the Giants this season, compiling a 4-2 mark against the Orange and Black, in the two victories over the Pirates, the Giants scored eighteen runs.
Though most fans hate the one-game playoff format, it can be a distinct advantage under just the right circumstances. The Giants have played well on the road all season, with only the Dodgers having a better road record in the National League.
Moreover, Madison Bumgarner has pitched more effectively on the road than at AT&T park this season, so San Francisco has not only its best pitcher going for them, he performs better on the road. Combine Bumgarner with Buster Posey and the Giants have seen this movie before.
Both San francisco and Pittsburgh are going to continue season-long trends this coming Wednesday, as the Giants will rise up in Pittsburgh and “steel” the first victory of the National League playoff season from the Pirates.
Buster Posey will team up with Madison Bumgarner on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports