The Pittsburgh Pirates are winning. Winning ugly. Winning by a run. Winning with a walkoff-error (or the Astros GIF to End All Astros GIFs).
Winning via the walkoff bomb. Winning with a pinch-hit grand slam after a bases loaded walk.
The Bucs are 27-18 and have won six of their last seven games. The Pirates have won eight of their last eleven. The ballclub is 26-13 in their last 39 games after four straight losses to get off to a shaky 1-5 start to the 2013 season.
After 45 games a season ago, the Pirtaes were 21-24. The team was setting records for terrible offensive performances. The pitching was good enough, but this season the pitching has been stellar.
In the month of May, the Pirates pitching staff have allowed the least amount of earned runs in all of baseball. With the names of Jeff Locke, Jeanmar Gomez, Francisco Liriano, Mark Melancon, and Jason Grilli putting up numbers to match those of their leader A.J. Burnett who is striking out most everyone with a bat in their hand thus far in 2013.
The staff has six shutouts already, the pitching staff had ten all of last season.
Behind the plate, Russell Martin is throwing out runners at a Major League-leading clip. Martin has also been an on-base machine, working walks and sitting in the top five of OBP among his peers in the NL and his slugging is only topped by Willin Rosario who is using that powerful Colorado Rockie elevation to his advantage.
Most of the things that haunted the Bucs in 2012 have been cleaned up. It’s hard to imagine what the team will do when Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker get rolling consistently.
But until then, the Bucs are…