Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Over the course of a long baseball season, there are a lot of frustrating games and series, and this may have been the most frustrating. The Pirates entered it with a very slight chance of winning the NL Central and needed a sweep to legitimately have a chance, instead, they lost two of three and the Cards got to celebrate in their rival’s home ballpark. The Pirates had opportunities to win at least two of the three games, but left men on base, committed errors and ran the bases terribly. In the end, it’s another year, another second place finish behind the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Pirates have one more series left and need to win at least one game to clinch home field in the NL Wildcard game, so pending a huge failure, the game will be here for a third consecutive season. To a lot of fans, that may seem like a failure of a season, but the Pirates are going to win at least 96 games and it took the Cardinals winning 100 games to clinch the NL Central. That is a pretty incredible season, no matter how you slice it. It is annoying to finish second place again and have to play a single elimination game, but that is the hand the Pirates have been dealt. If they can get past the Cubs and Jake Arrieta, then it won’t matter too much as anything can happen in a five game series and the Pirates match-up very well against all the NL playoff teams.
The Pirates have one more regular season series against the Cincinnati Reds and you would hope they play well to enter the playoffs with a little momentum and mojo. This regular season has been tremendous for the Pirates and while we all wanted a division title, but the playoffs are what matters most and if the Pirates can beat Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs, I really like their chances to win the Pirates first pennant since 1979. I know one thing, I will be watching the Pirates’ playoff run, living and dying with every single pitch.
Series Result: Pirates lose 2-1
2015 win/loss record: 96-63
2015 series record: 29-16-5