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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bucs In The Postseason

http://www.ctpost.com/sports/article/Buc-up-Pirates-Reds-punch-playoff-tickets-4838267.php#photo-5228450

I haven't had a Pirates based post in quite a while.  Not that I am not a fan of "the other team in Pittsburgh" but I'm still not convinced I really believe what is happening and I haven't really wanted to jinx it.

The Pirates, with last night's nail-biting 2-1 victory of the Chicago Cubs, clinched their first playoff berth since Jim Leyland led Barry Bonds, Mike Lavalliere, Andy Van Slyke, Jay Bell, Doug Drabek, Jeff King, and a whole host of forgotten Bucs into the postseason in 1992.  That year, the Sid Bream slide into home would be the death knell for their season, and subsequently 20 more seasons.

So why am I not jumping off my couch and shouting at the top of my lungs "We Are Family"?  Because if you have paid any sort of attention to the Pirates this year (or the last three years) and watched how they were able to get to this point, you will have noticed the fact that the offensive production is slowly disappearing.  In their past dozen games, they are hitting a measly .209 and have had less than six hits in seven of those dozen.  That does not translate well to post season play.  They are playing .500 baseball since August, racking up a 25-25 record.  Again, not playoff baseball.

Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd filled a couple holes but the fact is, neither has done much to bolster my hopes for a long run into the post season.  Morneau is just, well, he's just not the same guy he used to be.  While Byrd has been, just ok so far, he isn't blowing peoples' minds with his offensive production or making the big splash management had hoped.  Also, with the solid bullpen suddenly looking more pedestrian, I'm starting to wonder if the Bucs really understand (not that they would) what it is going to take to continue past the first games in October.

There are five games left.  Five games to catch the Cardinals.  Five games to get up on the Reds.  Five games to host the Wild Card Game.  Five games to convince me that they want this to happen.  Five games to make me forget, at least temporarily, 20 years of what became unaffectionately known as "Pirate" baseball.

(EDIT:  See Rebuttal Post)

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