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Sports Then and Now

Pirates’ Shipwrecked

Posted on August 08, 2011 by Teddy Bailey

After a strong start, the Pittsburgh Pirates have wilted in the heat of summer.

It has been 18 long, dreadful years since the city of Pittsburgh shared a playoff experience for the Pirates. Trust me, it will be  19 very shortly.

In a competitive NL Central, there’s no margin for error. The Brewers lead the division by 3 games, with the St.Louis Cardinals on their back, and the Cincinnati Reds are being quietly diminished as a division contender. It’s one thing if you go 3-7, or 4-6, but 0-10? Really? Here’s how the Pirates’ ship sank, and how it happened:

It started with the Philadelphia Phillies. Yeah, being swept in 3 by the best team in baseball isn’t horrendous, but it was crunch time for Pittsburgh. Everyone in baseball was on the edge of their seats to see if the Bucs’ can contend with the best. They can’t, obviously, so that series was a serious letdown for the Pirates’ organization. After that, Pittsburgh’ was going downhill…… fast. The Cubs, another disappointing ball club, (don’t get me started on their drought) were 43-65 at the time, so a series win was probably in the mindset of Pittsburgh. Wait, did I say series win? Add four more losses to the board. Pittsburgh battled, I’ll give them that, but fell short every time.

Another struggling club came into PNC Park, this time the San Diego Padres. These three games were a complete embarrassment, being outscored 35-8! It’s pretty hard for the Padres to score 35 runs in 3 games, but they did it. One of the worst homestands in Pirates’ history occurred this past week, going 0-7 and being outscored 59-25 in those 7 home games. Here’s the result, and what’s next for the Pirates:

After an oh and ten run, the Pirates are 54-59 and 10 games behind the Brewers. Pittsburgh has dropped to 25th in Major League Baseball in hitting, a fact that is fears by fans.

It’s only getting worse for Pittsburgh, as they travel across the country for a 3 game series with the defending champs, San Francisco Giants. After that, it’s showtime. Pittsburgh have 20 straight games against NL Central opponents, with 7 against the division leading Milwaukee Brewers. If there is a potential comeback, those twenty games are going to be a big help.

The ten losses are a shipwreck. I don’t think there are any more believers thinking the Pirates’ will make the playoffs. I myself, think they will come up short. I’ve always gone with the Brewers, because the Braun and Fielder duo is just too much for pitchers.

Have fun cleaning up the wreck, Pittsburgh.

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