The San Diego Padres smoked the Pittsburgh Pirates on their California dirt. The San Diego Padres smoked the Pittsburgh Pirates on the Pittsburgh dirt. Two teams with similar payrolls look so different for a multitude of reasons.
Remember last year when the Padres finished 20 games behind LA? Sure you do.
Do you remember the Padres started 38-62 in the first 100 games? You might not.
But it doesn’t matter, The Padres are cruising since. What you might not remember is how the Padres played so tough at the end of the year against the Dodgers who were trying their damndest to clinch the division.
It was another similarity between the Padres and Pirates because the Pirates kept the Dodgers champagne on ice with a late season sweep. It was one of our favorite stories of the year.
The Pirates had a phenomenal comeback with the Dodgers just three outs from a division clinching win. The comeback made TV analyst Steve Lyons put his pants back on rather than getting soaked with champagne.
But we really enjoyed the last game of the series. You remember. It was the 11-1 waxing, when John Russell got booed for pulling Zach duke. We enjoyed it because we read this…
“One more early game here today against these inept Pirates, who will probably draw a few thousand fans, and it should be over.”—T.J. Simers LA Times
Not quite T.J. The Pirates showed some pride when playing at home. The Pirates gave their fans some hope headed into the offseason. But unlike the Padres, this season has not been one to remember.
Jesse Behr from Baseball Prospectus took a look at the Padres and Pirates in a very well written article entitled Similar Yet Different. We believe it does take a membership to see it all, but we’re too dumb to figure that stuff out.
“They’ve got real talent. They remind me of us last year. Our young guys have developed quicker. But, the Pirates have a good young core. Think about us. No one thought we’d be here [in first place]. There are guys that can hit on that team, no doubt about it.”—-Kevin Correia, San Diego Padres in Baseball Prospectus
“I think they’re definitely headed in the right direction,” Ludwick said. “The youth in McCutchen, Tabata, and Alvarez—I don’t think you can expect a ton out of them right now, as a team. [Most of them] are just getting their feet wet. But with experience, I definitely think that team is going to get better.”—Ryan Ludwick, San Diego Padres in Baseball Prospectus
The Pirates have made a lot of memories the past two seasons, there are just very few that are actually re-memorable. Or something like that.