Diary of a long-suffering Pirates fan: Can Pirates' young guns carry them to championship glory like the '69 Mets?

Or what about the 2010 San Francisco Giants? History suggests no, but history also suggests "Wait 'til next year" will be a legitimate rallying cry.
New York Mets
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So how do the Pirates' young pitchers compare to those Mets and Giants teams?

The Pirates currently sit at 19-25, 7.5 games out of first.  Their offense ranks 28th in the MLB in run production.  Rather than improving on last year's 22nd-ranked offense, the Pirates' offense seems to be regressing. The season is still early, and their position in the standings is no worse than the 1969 Mets or the 2010 Giants found themselves at the same point in their championship seasons.

However, another difference between those teams and the 2024 Pirates is the number of starts that Jones and Skenes will be able to get. Seaver, Koosman, and Gentry accounted for 63 percent of the Mets' total starts in 1969. After July 4, 2010, the quartet of Sanchez, Bumgarner, Lincecum, and Cain accounted for 80 percent of the Giants' starts (Barry Zito was the fifth starter in 2010). And just as important. Those rotations experienced no injuries.

But Skenes' and Jones' workloads are going to be closely monitored. There is even talk of the Pirates going to a six-man rotation or the possibility of Jones and Skenes skipping turns in the rotation to limit their workload. So the percentage of starts that at least those two pitchers can take is 40 percent at best and 33 percent at worst if the Pirates go to a six-man rotation. That means that the other starters will have to be good, too.

And it also means that the Pirates bullpen will have to be good, too. The 1969 Mets and the 2010 Giants each had excellent bullpens. The Pirates' bullpen this year has not been good. The bullpen was supposed to be the strength of the Pirates this year, but a combination of injuries and poor performances has made it anything but.

But back to those Pirates' bats. If the Pirates' offense does not improve, history suggests that the 2024 Pirates will be more like those 2009 Giants or the 1968 Mets—teams that were improving due to good pitching, but teams that were not quite ready for Prime Time playoff baseball.

If the Pirates continue to be offensively challenged, then the young Pirates pitchers this year will likely continue to operate in a low scoring environment.  They will likely take their lumps this year due to that.  But hopefully they will also learn and grow from the experience.  Jared Jones, in his short time with the team, has already been victimized from a lack of run support.  For all the success and hoopla surrounding Jones, he has a losing record at 2-4.

If the Pirates can improve on offense, though, either this year or in the years to come, these young pitchers could carry the team a long way. 

The question is:  Do the Pirates stay put with the hitters they have and hope for small incremental improvements like the '69 Mets?  Or do they do a complete redo of the roster like the Giants did?  I suspect it will be a little bit of both.

Seaver, Koosman, and Gentry powered the Mets to championship glory in 1969.

Cain, Bumgarner, Sanchez, and Lincecum did the same for the 2010 Giants.

Could Pirates fans someday be singing the praises of Keller, Jones and Skenes in the same way?

I sure hope so.  And it will be reason to keep watching the Pirates this year and beyond to see if the young pitchers can create magic the way the 69 Mets and 2010 Giants did.