Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Last One Out Turn Out the Lights

Do you remember alllllll the way back to August 6th?  Those were the halycon days of this 2012 Pirates season, as they were sitting at 62-46 and two-thirds of the way to their first winning season since 1992.  The Pirates were only 3-1/2 games back of the Reds, even after losing 2 of 3 to them the previous weekend.

That was also the weekend where the Reds' pitchers hit the Pirates with relative impunity, highlighted by Aroldis Chapman tattooing Andrew McCutchen with a 98 mph fastball.  McCutchen was none too pleased, but the Pirates were unable to respond the next game as the umps immediately warned both benches from the start of the game.

It was almost an afterthought that the Pirates were going to finish over .500.  The more pressing issue was how the Pirates were going to fare in the playoff chase, both the wild card and the NL Central division chases.  But since that date, the Reds continued to stay super hot by going 23-16 while the Pirates have flamed out with a 12-27 record in the same time frame.

Now with a 74-73 record, it feels to be a foregone conclusion that the Pirates are going to finish with a losing record in 2012 as a result of their terrible tail spin.  The issue of trendlines is a funny one.  On April 1st, if you asked any Pirate fan if they would have been happy to 74-73 on September 19th and only 3-1/2 games out of the wild card spot, they would have been thrilled.  But the way the Pirates have gotten to this point has killed all joy for the season.

Going from 16 games over .500 to 1 game over and back sliding rapidly will do that to a fanbase.  This season has been an ice cold bath of reality for me.  I went from calculating how the Pirates could get 82 wins and when, to calculating how many wins the Pirates could get after the All-Star break to get to 90 wins and be in playoff position.

Now it is a chore to watch them squander all the goodwill they built up with Pittsburgh this season.  PNC Park is back to being the typical graveyard in September.  I'm going to the game tomorrow afternoon and it's almost like a punishment, especially to see the Brewers embarrass the Pirates again.

This season will be a difficult one to forget, especially when you think about the missed opportunities like losing 5 games in the last 2 weeks to the lowly Cubs.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty much.

    I think they may have finally converted me to bandwagon-ism. "I'll be back when they finally win something" isn't something I blame anyone for feeling after 20 years of this junk.

    Talent is still a rung below where it needs to be at the ML level. They already can't go "buy" it on the open market, and it will be harder in the future as the large market teams get multi-BILLION dollar TV deals. As far internal talent goes, particularly for hitting, any blips they have on the radar in that department are far, far, away from Pittsburgh.

    It'd be more frustrating if I cared more I guess. Since this isn't bothering me as much as I'd have guessed, they must've finally sweated out my last few ounces of caring about Pittsburgh baseball.