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Can collapsing Pirates avoid 20th straight losing season?

Sep 11, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

clint-hurdle-pirates Getty Images

Last year the Pirates were tied for the NL Central lead with a 53-47 record on July 25 and then went 19-43 down the stretch, finishing in fourth place at 72-90 for their 19th consecutive losing season.

This year Pittsburgh got off to an even better start with a 63-47 record through August 8, at which point there were lots of articles about how the Pirates wouldn’t be collapsing down the stretch again.

Unfortunately they’ve done just that, going 9-21 since then to fall from 2.5 games back in the NL Central to completely out of the division race at 12.0 games back. They’re still very much in the Wild Card mix, but unless the Pirates turn things around in a hurry they might have enough trouble simply remaining above .500.

Pittsburgh must finish no worse than 8-13 to avoid a 20th consecutive losing season. The good news is that their next two games are in Cincinnati and then their only remaining road series are against the Cubs, Mets, and Astros. The bad news is that their home schedule consists of series against the playoff-bound Reds and Braves along with a Brewers team that’s won 16 of 21.

  1. hokiegajanisgod - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    C’mon Pittsburgh, get your sh*t together and go grab a very obtainable wildcard spot!

    With the exception of LA, St. Louis, and Atlanta fans, everyone else is rooting for you…forget your recent past and GO FOR IT!!!

    • xmatt0926x - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      hokie, they had a chance to go for it at the trading deadline and didn’t. There are some franchises that just can’t get past a trading deadline without trying to go for it . Then there are teams like the Pirates who will gladly win if it happens t work out that way but they have no real passion to win. I’m rooting for the Pirates to win for the fans sake and the players, but that ownership sucks. How do you not try to break a generations worth of losing when the opportunity obviously presents itself? Ohh. Thats right. You don’t mortgage the future if you are a franchise like the Pirates. You just build from within. Lot’s of building and accumulating in the last 20 years. Not much to show for it.

      • bdvlad - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        Trading for Wandy Rodriguez and a new starting OF and 1B doesn’t count as “going for it”?

        Alrighty then…

      • pens5829 - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        You hit it right on the head xmatt0926x. Pirate’s ownership group sucks! Probably the WORST in professional sports!

        Just like Bengal fans, we’re held hostage by an ownership group that hasn’t a clue and just refuses to spend money on quality players. Bucco baseball is more about the fan’s “stadium experience” (i.e., fireworks, bobbleheads, sky-blasts (i.e., OLD BANDS), and the views from the stadium) instead of the product on the field.

        I’ve been a fan for 47 years. I watch the Buccos nearly every single stinking night but absolutely refuse to go spend my money when there’s NO commitment, and hasn’t been for 20 years, from ownership.

  2. dan1111 - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    As much as I like the Pirates, I’m surprised they made it this far. McCutchen has been literally carrying the whole team on his back all season. As awesome as he is, the 5000+ pound load finally caught up with him.

    • stabonerichard - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      For McCutchen to literally carry the whole team on his back he’d have to have a very, very strong lower body. He’d have to literally be able to squat a metric butt-ton.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Ah yes, the metric butt-ton. I always forget is that lighter or heavier than the English butt-ton.

        The formula is simple. They need to start hitting better with RISP and they need their bullpen to stop blowing leads. That has been the biggest change since July. If they can get it together they can grab a WC spot. If they can’t its going to be 20 straight.

  3. chill1184 - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I would love for the Pirates to make a big run

    • bettmanblows - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      So would all of us in Pittsburgh. Reality is, they are not built for it. Here’s to the future……..again.

      • chill1184 - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM

        Same boat here being a Mets fan and all. But hey at least we both have our Steelers!

  4. illcomm - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    No they can’t. Having a racist issue now clouding the team will not help out at all. Collaspe.

  5. theawesomersfranchise - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    All you non Pirate fans who “like” the Pirates…. Who want to see the poor hapless Pirates become a player in MLB…..just you remember there were the same types of people who rooted for the pitiful Red Sox. And look at those Sox fans the past few years.
    Remind yourself of all the garbage Penguin and Steeler fans yammer constantly.

    Screw the Pirates, let them keep failing for as long as possible.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      Hm…. attacking another fan base and wishing poor performance on their team completely out of the blue? Remind me again who the “garbage” fans are?

      • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        Out of the blue?
        Wishing poor performance is such a bad thing?
        I am supposed to pity the Pirates because they have been so bad for so long?
        Naaaaaaaah I have zero doubt that Pirate fans would become as insufferable.
        Why do I think this? Because there is a VERY good chance that the obnoxious Pen and Steeler fan are Pirate fans too.

        Fanbase dislike is a good thing
        I don’t like anything from Pennsylvania
        Im a fan of some teams and just hate others, shocking huh?

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        It is out of the blue because no Pirates fans were being “insufferable” here.

        Its not a bad thing to wish poor performance for a team – when you root for one team you inherently root against another. Rooting for poor performance to the end that it would upset people is a little poor form however.

        You’re not supposed to pity pirates fans – no one asked for that from anyone (myself included). Just simply not start antagonizing them out of no where.

        I imagine that your reacting to a loud minority who like to also be antagonistic at times. But every fan base has them – the irony here is you fall into this category based on your conduct here and other places.

        Fanbase dislike is NOT a good thing – fans are people. Rooting against another sports team or “dislike” if you want to call it that is fine.

        You don’t like anything from Pennsylvania? Noted. On behalf of all PA-natives allow me to let you know that we do not care.

        No its not shocking that your a fan of teams and hate others. Everyone is that way. However some people choose to conduct themselves with more class. I’m not saying the entirety of the fanbases I belong to do that, but again I believe in most cases it’s a loud minority that choose to be antagonistic like you.

        Napoleon – loyal Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers fan.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      The more competition there is, the better situations there are for both MLB and their fans – which is a rarity, mind you.

      I’d love for all 30 teams to be winners, so that the season is as intense as possible and teams don’t just go belly up and sell and/or fade out.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        All 30 teams to be winners?
        Like everyone gets a medal and trophy at the end of the year? Go out for pizza and ice cream?

        “You’re all winners!”
        (Seinfeld reference)

        I like a sporting world that has oddities like the Cubs not winning for a ridiculous amount of time. It makes it fascinating to consider that “this year might be their year”. I have learned that I wish the Red Sox had remained a part of those oddities.

        Come on man, how can you be a “fan” of a team and not wish a rival stays down…..forever?

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        I mean all teams playing well. With my team playing the best.

        Quit being an ass, please.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        Go back to New Brunswick you oh so very soft lil man

    • pens5829 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      Just another loser in life trying to make himself feel better.

  6. gunpowderjones - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    So you mean the Steeler and Penguin fans who are their team’s version of…you?

  7. tk1966 - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    theawesomersfranchise <— whata dick

  8. flyeredup - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Loser franchise that needs relocated. The games have been played at Probably No Customers Park since 2001. Fold these jokers.

    McCutchen will be a Yankee ,Red Sox or Dodgers player soon. Be gone Sucs!

    • pens5829 - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      1975 buddy. 1975.

  9. armstrongsmissingball - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Pirates suck! Good to see Pittsburgh fans wine. It gets rougher when the still-ers go 8 & 8.

  10. phranksta - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Pittsburgh doesn’t deserve a winning baseball team.. Those people bailed on them like the did the Penguins when they were lousy. I’ve probably been to Pnc and three rivers 8 times and only once were there more Pirates fans than the visitor. If they didn’t play in the same division as the two worst teams in the league they’d be 10 games below .500 anyway.

    • mmmpierogi - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:01 AM

      Pull your numbers on when Pittsburgh “bailed” on the Pens. Specifically, show me another franchise that (a) plays in a similarly populated metro area and (b) has shown similar performance over time, and show me that Pittsburgh fans have “bailed” on the team relative to what another team has. I’ve seen the attendance rates for the Pens over the past twenty years, so I’d absolutely love to see the numbers your looking at.

  11. phranksta - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    1979 buddy, 1979.

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