Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
There’s nothing more exciting than when the baseball season comes down to game 162. There’s just something about knowing six months of work come down to the end, but the Pirates made sure game 162 was never really in doubt. This game was close for most of it, but the Pirates were in control from first inning onward, which I think all the fans in attendance appreciated. I don’t think fans could have handled a super tense game with the Chicago Cubs winning again, but luckily the Pirates took care of their own business and won the ballgame, setting up a do or die NL Wildcard game in PNC Park for the third consecutive season.
Normally, I’d talk about what’s up next for the Pirates, but you already know that Jake Arrieta and Chicago Cubs are looming in the NL Wildcard game, but I want to discuss this 2015 regular season for a bit. The Pirates finished 98-64, which is the third best finish in franchise history and while we’re all disappointed we didn’t win the Central, it’s important to remember that this team gave us so many amazing memories. Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, I will look back at 2015 with a huge smile.
From Josh Harrison leading off Opening Day with a home run, Jung Ho Kang‘s amazing rookie campaign and of course the back-to-back walk-off wins against the Cardinals. 2015 was something amazing and despite there being some negativity about not winning the division, I think most fans realize how lucky they were that they got to watch this team every single day. We got to watch one of the best teams in Major League Baseball play in the baseball ballpark in the Majors. If you had told a fan in 2010 that the Pirates would win 98 games in only five seasons, they’d be thrilled and probably not believe you.
So much has changed since the final out was recorded in 2010 and no matter how many times the Pirates make the playoffs, I will never take it for granted. I’ve been a season ticket holder for almost a decade now. I’ve seen some awful baseball and now, I am seeing my team in the playoffs for a third consecutive season. You can say “I am accepting mediocrity,” because I am not up in arms that the Pirates didn’t win 101 games and win the Central division, but really if you’re upset about a 98 win team, maybe sports aren’t the hobby for you. Yes, the team may have lost some games they should have won, but the inverse is also more than true. Everything balances out over the course of 162 and this Pirates team is one of the best teams in the league for a reason. So lets Blackout PNC and be loud and show Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs what playoff baseball in Pittsburgh is all about.
Series Result: Pirates win 2-1
2015 win/loss record: 98-64
2015 series record: 30-16-5