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Pirates drop 82nd game, ensure 20th straight sub-.500 season

Sep 30, 2012, 6:35 PM EDT

Joel Hanrahan Getty Images

Joel Hanrahan has been a rock in the closer’s role these last two seasons, but even he let the Pirates down today as the team completed its collapse.

The Reds scored twice in the bottom of the ninth Sunday to beat the Pirates 4-3, dropping Pittsburgh to 77-82 and locking up a 20th consecutive season below .500.

The Pirates peaked at 16 games over .500 on Aug. 6, but they’re now five games under. They’re 5-18 in their last 23 games.

Hanrahan was 36-for-39 saving games this year before giving up a game-tying homer to ex-Pirate Xavier Paul. He took his second loss after Zack Cozart doubled in pinch-runner Denis Phipps to give the Reds the lead.

The homer was Paul’s fifth in 461 major league at-bats. He hit two in 232 at-bats for Pittsburgh last year.

Cincinnati’s win pushed the team back into a tie with the Nationals for the best record in the National League at 96-63.

  1. randygnyc - Sep 30, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    It felt like the earth wasn’t spinning on is axis properly early this summer. It seems to have auto- corrected.

    • redguy12588 - Sep 30, 2012 at 7:16 PM

      With the Pirates, anything is possible.

      Also, screw you randy, you soulless piece of crap.

      • emoser - Sep 30, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        Sorry, but I’ve seen what Steelers and Penguins fans are like when their teams are winning. I’m all for the Pirates losing if it keeps them from invading baseball, too.

      • samu0034 - Sep 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

        Oh, c’mon. Every team’s fans are going to be a bit obnoxious when they’re playing well. It’s the nature of the beast for a fan to get all “Yeah, my team’s awesome!”. Let the Pirates fans have a break.

      • dcfan4life - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:34 AM

        Really, have you ever been to Pittsburgh or Philly? Those fans are on a different level, and not in a good way. Dunno what they put in the water in Pennsylvania but i will only drink bottled water when passing through…

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        Yeah, dcfan4life. All of the people in those fanbases are godawful horrendously bad and soulless. Just like each and every fan of DC-area teams is a transient apathetic fickle liar…ya know…’cause it’s DC. So everybody down there lies like politicians and lobbyists…right?

  2. annaalamode - Sep 30, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    That sucks. I’m not a Pirates fan but I was definitely rooting for them to finish above .500. What a terrible outcome to a promising season.

  3. chill1184 - Sep 30, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Poor Pirates

  4. stairwayto7 - Sep 30, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    It was TOP OF 9TH,not BOTTOM OF 9TH! Someone needs to proof read your articles.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      Proofread is one word, not two. Also, you need a space after your comma. Looks like someone also needs to proofread your comments.

  5. ironcity6pak - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    That’s it I’m done!!

  6. willclarkgameface - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Damn you Pirates. This should have been your year. World Series, no, but plus .500? YEP. This is just weak.

    I’d send ALL of you to boot camp!

  7. Utley's Hair - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Chad Qualls strikes again.

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