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82 wins! Pirates clinch first winning season since 1992

Sep 9, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates' Byrd is congratulated by teammate Jones after he scored against the Texas Rangers during their MLB interleague game in Arlington, Texas Reuters

Because nothing can ever be easy for the Pirates their 81st victory of the season last week was followed by four consecutive losses and tonight they matched up against Yu Darvish and the Rangers in Texas.

After six scoreless innings the Pirates scraped together a run off Darvish–with midseason pickup Marlon Byrd doubling and scoring–and three pitchers combined to shut out the Rangers, so go ahead and pop the champagne: Pittsburgh has 82 wins and its first winning season since 1992.

Rookie right-hander and former No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole, who out-dueled Darvish with seven scoreless innings, was born in 1990. So yeah, it’s been a while.

After snapping their season-high four-game losing streak the Pirates are 82-61, which puts them 1.0 game back of the idle Cardinals in the NL Central, 1.0 game up on the Reds for homefield advantage in the Wild Card playoff game, and eight games clear of the Nationals for the final playoff spot. Snapping a two-decade streak of losing seasons must feel amazing for the Pirates and their fans right now–and the city of Pittsburgh deserves a great party tonight–but this team no doubt has its sights set on something bigger.

  1. apkyletexas - Sep 9, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    “this team no doubt has its sights set on something bigger”

    The only “bigger” thing this team needs is another freaking win before another freaking week goes by. Scoring more than 2 runs in 4 days would help also. Or holding an opposing team to fewer than 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 runs per game.

    I swear, you give this team one ounce of congratulations, and the wheels fly off the cart. They are like the alcoholic who gets cheered at his AA meeting for a week of sobriety, and then stops at the local bar on his way home to celebrate and gets bombed out of his gourd.

    • paperlions - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      Shouldn’t you just go back to being wrong about Puig, the guy who, according to you, was going to fall off a cliff because the league figured him out? Of course, in August Puig had a wRC+ of 157 (for context, the number of MLB players with a better wRC+ on the year is 4), OBP of .405, and SLG of .515….and so Far in September he’s hitting just as well. Yeah, he’s horrible, the league figured him out, no more 200 wRC+ for him, he’s done

    • drone501 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      as a lifelong pirate fan you hit it head on.

  2. babyfarkmcgeezax - Sep 9, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=np6vAuS0KNs&feature=youtube_gdata_player&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dnp6vAuS0KNs%26feature%3Dyoutube_gdata_player

  3. Tyler - Sep 9, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Real nice game by Cole. I think Martin has been a quiet hero for their pitching staff.

    Congrats to Pirates fans. They’ve been though a lot.

  4. florida76 - Sep 9, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    A winning season was indeed inevitable after the losing streak was snapped with nearly a full season left to play. Absolutely no one saw this coming, and it’s amazing there are still 19 games left to play. Many streaks in sports end with a whimper, so to annihilate this bad record so decisively, is a complete surprise. Add to that a possibility of a playoff spot, plus the silencing of the critics and naysayers has made this season even more satisfying.

    While the club would obviously like to make the playoffs and do well, it’s never been all about this season. Ending the streak was part of the process of building a consistent contender, and it’s worth noting this was the worst team in MLB as recently as 2010.

  5. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 9, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Does this team have a bitter rival? I’m being serious here, because after so many years of losing, sometimes it can be tough to keep a bitter rivalry going. St. Louis? Cincinnati?

    Even if they do have a bitter rival, even fans of those teams have to be a little happy to see a team after so many doormat season finally be able to rise up and have some success. Congratulations to the Pirates on their season thus far, and congratulations to their fans, who I hope are savoring ever second of this year. After watching my Orioles go through something similar last year, I can absolutely relate to how much fun this year must be for them. No fans should have to sit through over 20 years of losing seasons. (Well, except maybe Yankee fans.) (I kid. I kid.)

    • drone501 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      believe it or not the last rival i remember we had was the mets in the late stages of the eighties when leyland took over the team. lasted for a few years.

  6. cur68 - Sep 9, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Wherever he is, I know my old friend RamboDiaz is happy as a mo-fo right now.

    Next step; playoff berth. C’mon, Pirates…

    • historiophiliac - Sep 10, 2013 at 1:08 AM

      Next year. I want my rematch with the Cards first. And, I want paperlions to cry at the end.

      Congrats though to the Pirates. Pi-rates! Pi-rates! Pi-rates!

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 10, 2013 at 7:30 AM

        And, I want paperlions to cry at the end.

        ouch!

      • paperlions - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        I’m not 12. I don’t cry when a team I root for loses. I might get all emotional and say, “well, that sucked”, or something. When they lost 3 games in a row to fail to make the WS last year, I don’t remember it even bothering me that much. They have won 3 WS since I have been old enough to enjoy them and been to 3 others….now, when they win, it brightens my day a little, when they lose, I shrug and move on.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        Oh, come on.

      • paperlions - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        Sorry. I’m all growed up.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        Yes, and need a funny bone transplant. Do you really think I was serious?

      • paperlions - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        Eh, no?

      • historiophiliac - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        Sometimes you kill me, paper.

      • paperlions - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        Was I right?

      • historiophiliac - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        I was not serious. You are no fun to smack talk with though. :( You owe me some olives.

      • paperlions - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Okay, I’ll do better.

        Yeah, a rematch would be great. It is nice to see that since the Tigers lost in 2006, they have extended the fine defensive prowess, so that now an opponent can expect to reach base whether they hit the ball back to the pitcher, to the third baseman, or the first baseman.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        You don’t deserve your Kozma!

      • historiophiliac - Sep 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        PS It’s going to be 96* again today…on the 10th of September.

      • paperlions - Sep 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        That sucks. God must hate you guys. That weather is coming this way, it is supposed to hit 90 tomorrow….but I think I’ve only run the AC for maybe 4 days since July, and those days were because of the 100% humidity more than the temperature, highs were only around 80

      • historiophiliac - Sep 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        Our consolation is that we are not supposed to hit 100 again this year. This is actually fairly normal for us. The rest of you enjoy the fall. We just stay hot until it drops off in November.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 10, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        You don’t want a rematch with the Cardinals Philiac.

  7. cadillacjosh - Sep 10, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    I wouldn’t say it’s a rivalry, but I always thought The Brewers and The Pirates played pretty tough games. It’s like we were both awful, so we shared that, and then the Brewers got good and beat up on the awful Pirates. Now the Pirates are good and they beat up on the awful Brewer.

    And as a now awful Brewer fan, I really could’t be more happy for the Pirates fans. It’s a lot of fun to watch your awful team turn good.

    • drone501 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      we need a team to pick us up since the steelers are going in the tank this year.

  8. danaking - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Last week was tough, watching the division lead disappear and waiting for 82. I had to remind myself this morning how I would have felt had the Pirates got to 82 through a consistent march, and not gotten off to a fast start and faded in August, even if the Cardinals had won 90 games already. We’d be pretty damn happy.

    The Brewers are a good rival now, but the Pirates’ main rival for 40 years has been Cincinnati, going back to when both teams were good in the 70s. They used to have annual bench-clearing brawls that were actual fights.

  9. jimmymarlinsfan - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    I hope the Bucs beat the Atlanta cowards

  10. antihypocritz - Sep 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Since July 1st, the Pirates are 30-31 with a -6 run differential.

    Whoo! Go Pirates!!!!

    • antihypocritz - Sep 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      My mistake, including the game last night they are 31-31 with a -5 run differential.

    • antihypocritz - Sep 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      My mistake, including the game last night they are now 31-31 since July 1st, with a run differential of -5.

      • danaking - Sep 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        Too bad for you the season didn’t start on July 1.

  11. gostlcards5 - Sep 10, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Well done, Buccos! Kudos….and keep playing hard, because if the Cards get knocked out, you’re my horse in the race!

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