While the season is not officially over for another four weeks, the Pittsburgh Pirates can say something they've not been able to in 20 years. Regardless of how this year ends, they WILL have a winning season.
The last time the Pirates had a winning record was back in 1992. But a ninth inning pinch-hit home run from Travis Snider gave Pittsburgh a 4-3 win in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. It also slightly widened their lead in the NL Central to two games over the St. Louis Cardinals, with just 24 games remaining as of Wednesday morning. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was excited about putting an end to an ugly streak:
It's a step in the right direction. It was on our to-do list. The one family I'm happy for here is the Clemente family. I had a little talk with them earlier in the season and they told me, "We can't have 21 losing seasons. We've got to find a way to not have Roberto's number tied to that." I told them we would do everything we could to take care of that, and it's been taken care of. We'll move on from here, and our plans are to continue to play and compete and go further.
After racking up win number 81, they've solidified the fact that they will put an end to a 20-year struggle. In fact, their last winning season in 1992 saw them make it to the NLCS where they were narrowly defeated by the Atlanta Braves. From there, they've changed ballparks, owners, managers, and have gone through a carousel of players. But things have definitely gone their way so far this year, and fans at PNC have reason to celebrate.
In fact just a few days ago, it was announced that they had worked out a deal to bring in the likes of Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau just to add to a lineup with Andrew McCutchen and Russel Martin. While it's unlikely that they'll put together a 100-win season, it should be at least enough to get them into the playoffs. This of course provided that they can hold off the Cardinals and Reds over the final month.