Finishing With A Winning Record Matters For These Pittsburgh Pirates

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

There are seven games remaining in the season for the 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates, and they need to win just three of these games to clinch a winning season

1979 is the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series. Led by Willie Stargell, Dave Parker, and Bill Madlock, among others, manager Chuck Tanner led the ‘We Are Fam-a-lee’ Pirates to their fifth World Series Championship in franchise history.

A lot of things have happened since 1979. Cellphones, the internet, and computers have become commonplace in American homes. The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox both ended their long World Series droughts.

Many people will tell you that a professional sports team finishing a season with a winning record doesn’t matter if they fail to reach the postseason. Some may even call that season a failure. When it comes to the Pittsburgh Pirates, however, this could not be further from the truth.

Since capturing their last World Series Championship in 1979 the Pirates have finished with a winning record just ten times. Six of these seasons (1990, 1991, 1992, 2013, 2014, and 2015) also saw the team reach the postseason.

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When a sports franchise is stuck in this type of futility for 39 years, finishing with a winning record certainly means something.

Furthermore, this is a young Pirate team built to win in the future. Entering the season few people. if any, predicted this team would finish with a winning record and Las Vegas set their preseason over/under on wins at 73. Well, with seven games remaining the Pirates have already eclipsed this total by five wins and could push that number to double digits.

Finishing the season strong is important as a springboard into the offseason. If the Pirates are able to clinch a winning record this week that would serve a big momentum builder entering the offseason and into Spring Training in February. With a returning core built around players such as Chris Archer, Elias Diaz, Felipe Vazquez, Francisco Cervelli, Gregory Polanco, Jameson Taillon, Joe Musgrove, Josh Bell, Keone Kela, Kyle Crick, Starling Marte, and Trevor Williams, the Bucs have the pieces in place to compete in 2019. The more confidence and momentum this group can have heading into the offseason the better.

Currently owning a 78-76 record the Pirates need just three more wins to clinch a winning season in 2018. 81 wins will get the job done this season due to the team’s makeup game that is scheduled with the Miami Marlins for October 1st all but guaranteed to get canceled now that the Bucs have been eliminated from postseason contention.

Odds are, the Pirates will get at least three wins on their season-ending road trip. After a four-game swing through Wrigley Field, the Bucs head to Great American Ballpark to play the lowly Cincinnati Reds whom they are 12-4 against this season.

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Maybe some of this writing is biased.

As a Pirate fan that was born in August of 1992 that has only ever witnessed three winning seasons, the team finishing with a winning record will always be a big deal. A winning record would also give the Bucs four winning seasons in a six year span for the first time since the 1970s. Plus, it’s always more fun when the team wins than when they lose.

Regardless of the reasoning, do not say that the Pirates finishing the 2018 season with a winning record does not matter. Because it most certainly does.