Sunday, August 10, 2014

If the Pirates don't make the playoffs, it's still a good season

The Pirates didn't improve at all at the July non-waiver deadline.  That's all right -- they were still in the thick of both the division race and the wild card chase.

Things took a decided turn for the worse on August 2nd when the neanderthal Diamondbacks retaliated for Paul Goldschmidt by plunking Andrew McCutchen in the back, which may or may not have been an aggravating factor in McCutchen tearing rib cartilage on a swing the next day.  This was on the heels of Neil Walker's back flaring up on August 1st, in the midst of his best season.

And just for added sport, Pedro Alvarez picked this time frame to become completely worthless by letting his mental weakness overcome his ability to throw from 3B to 1B.  Plus his bat has been less than stellar this year, too.

As of this writing, the Pirates are 62-55 and just lost their annual series to the Padres.  They're in possession of the 2nd wild card, but it's hard to see them fending off the Giants (and perhaps the Braves and/or Reds) without McCutchen for an extended period of time.  Getting Walker back too is vital if they want to be a legit contender.

Without getting healthy AND getting some reinforcements to the bullpen and bench, I fear that the Pirates will just miss the playoffs this year.  Perhaps by as little as one game, which will lead to an entire offseason of second guessing Huntington and Hurdle's decisions, plus lamenting all of the blown games.

If the Pirates do miss the playoffs, it's not time to rend garments and gnash teeth, though.  The Pirates will have had their 2nd winning season in a row and their outlook for 2015 is incredibly bright with more prospects headlined by Kingham and Taillon on the way.  It will be a huge disappointment if they miss, but isn't the alternative of watching a losing season even worse?

(Who am I kidding?  It would suck huge if they missed the playoffs by one game.)

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