The Pittsburgh Pirates have played 159 games so far in 2013, and none have been nearly as big as the next three coming up against the Cincinnati Reds. Even though the Pirates have clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 1992, they aren’t satisfied just yet.
With the NL Central division race pretty much over as the St. Louis Cardinals need just one more win to clinch, the Pirates and Reds have their focus set on winning home field advantage in the one-game playoff that comes with winning the Wild Card.
The Pirates will enter the series at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati with a one-game lead for the first Wild Card spot over the Reds. Both teams obviously want to have the one-game playoff held in their home yard; but for the Pirates and their fans, it would like mean a lot more to them to have it held at PNC Park. The people of Pittsburgh haven’t seen a playoff game in Pittsburgh in 20 years. Heck, PNC Park has never held a postseason contest.
In order to take home-field advantage, the Pirates need to win at least two of the three games at Cincinnati in the upcoming weekend series. The odds are certainly against the Pirates, but it’s not impossible. The Reds are 49-28 at home this season, and the Pirates are 41-37 away from home.
The series opens up on Friday night with A.J. Burnett and the Pirates taking on Homer Bailey and his Reds. If the Pirates are able to win that, it will put a lot of pressure on the Reds to take the final two games before entering the postseason. If the Pirates are able to win this upcoming series, you can bet PNC Park will be rocking, and Jolly Roger flags will be waving next Tuesday when the playoffs begin.