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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

First Pitch: There Will Be Playoff Baseball at PNC Park This October

Since two of the three relevant playoff games were on the West Coast tonight, I decided to combine the playoff update with First Pitch. Well, that, and also due to the fact that I’ve been getting ready to leave to cover the playoffs, where hopefully I’ll be gone for more than just a week, and preferably a month.

The Pirates got in a better situation for that to happen tonight. They beat the Reds, and the Giants lost to the Padres. That means they are at least guaranteed one playoff game at PNC Park this year, which would be the Wild Card game. They could improve on their standings by taking the division from the Cardinals, which would put them right in the NLDS, with at least one playoff game at PNC. Below are the updated scenarios after today’s games.

NL Central

Pirates 3, Reds 1

Cardinals 7, Diamondbacks 6

The Pirates won today, but the Cardinals held on to beat the Diamondbacks in extra innings, maintaining their 1.0 game division lead.

To win the division outright, the Pirates will need to go 2-0, with the Cardinals going 0-2.

A playoff game, to be played in St. Louis, would be held on Monday if the following occurs this weekend:

**Cardinals go 1-1, Pirates go 2-0

**Cardinals go 0-2, Pirates go 1-1

Wild Card

Pirates 3, Reds 1

Padres 4, Giants 1

The Pirates entered today with a magic number of 2, which means their win and San Francisco’s loss clinched home field in the Wild Card game. San Francisco could tie the Pirates by winning their next two, with the Pirates losing their next two. However, the Pirates own the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head record, which would put the Wild Card game in PNC, even if the two teams were tied.

Playoff Seeding

Here are the current playoff seeds if the season would end today. The winner of the Wild Card game would go on to play the Washington Nationals, who clinched home field advantage today.

1. Washington

2. Los Angeles

3. St. Louis

4. Pittsburgh

5. San Francisco

Links and Notes

**Charlie Morton Undergoes Hip Surgery

**What Are the Odds of the Pirates Winning the NL Central?

**Morning Report: West Virginia’s Prospect List is Second to None in the System

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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Looks like Frankie eliminated all decision making. Sit Cole tomorrow.


The Cards just lost – presumably the Pirates will start Cole Sunday against Cueto.


Will *ANY* of this be on a TV channel that we can watch here in West-Central Florida? Sucks being a Pirates fan without TV coverage.

Josh Dz

Mlb.tv is free all weekens, so you can watch the game online of through your xbox or on a smartphone


If we don’t win the division outright, would it be better if we don’t play in the play-in game? If we lose the play-in game, we’ll have Locke pitching the wild card game.


right now volquez is inline to pitch wild card game, now for monday could be locke starting than the bull pen early if he pitches poorly.


Locke is not pitching the WC game. If he’s even on the 25 man roster for that game – or any postseason game – I’d be surprised.

Lukas Sutton

Yes he will, the Pirate do not like throwing a guy on short rest. As rough as Locke has looked at times recently, they will throw him in what amounts to a free game rather than totally ruin the rotation for the potential WC game and beyond. I have no issue with Locke in game 163 over someone on 3-4 days rest.


We’re not talking about the divisional tiebreaker game, we’re talking the WC game, which is most definitely not a “free game”. No way in hell Hurdle is dumb enough to put Locke out there for all the marbles.

Lukas Sutton

Misunderstood that, my fault.


Only other options, assuming Cole makes his scheduled start tomorrow, are Worley or Liriano on short rest.

Scott Kliesen

Nice win for Buccos last night. Thanks Jay Bruce. Too bad Snakes couldn’t bite Cards. Now the division title feels nearly out of reach. Wild Card game on Wed at PNC vs limping Giants doesn’t seem like the worst fate.


Not looking good for an Arizona win tomorrow. Cards are batting .397 AVE, 1.144 OPS against Miley.

Andy Prough

Cards look awful right now though. Lost two of three to the Cubs, and then allowed the Dbacks to come from 4 runs back late last night. Barely squeaked it out. If Trevor Cahill wasn’t so poor with his location and walking so many guys, they would have had no shot.

Lukas Sutton


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