Sorry, but the 2 "throw in the towel" posts (I don't mean to sound dickish, that's just the impression I got from them) scream overreaction to me. Yes, last night's game was ugly. Very ugly, but let's pause for just one second here. What really happened? An exhausted Pirates team went up against the best pitcher in baseball and got shut down. Halladay does that to a lot of people, so no real concern there. Charlie Morton got beat up a bit. It was ugly, it's hard for 8 runs not to be ugly. At the same time, "Good Stuff" was the victim of some shitty defense last night. Walker didn't get to a couple of balls that he really should have gotten to. Combine that with a couple grounders with eyes, Wood's error and McKenry's dropped 3rd strike, and a bad start where he gives up 4-5 runs in 5-6 innings without great command becomes the implosion we saw last night.
The truth is that the Pirates are within 3 games of the division lead 36 hours before the deadline. With 7 games against the Cubs and Padres right after the deadline they could easily make up some of the ground they lost during this meat grinder part of the schedule especially if they can split the weekend against the Phils. Then, with 20 games left against the Brewers and Cards, they can control their own destiny from here on out. Don't misunderstand me; I don't think the Pirates are good enough to really win in the playoffs, even if the do add a guy like Kotchman, Pena, Willingham, Kubel or A-Ram. But I still believe they can get there. The Brewers and Cardinals are more talented but I don't think either team added a difference maker for this year. Milwaukee got a set up man but lost Rickie Weeks and St. Louis got an above average starter by giving up a very good, very young CF that they would have had for years. I'm not sure both of those teams aren't worse than they were a couple of days ago when we were in 1st place.
I don't want the team to mortgage the future. I don't want them giving up their high level prospects without a shockingly huge return (like the Domonic Brown talk from yesterday). However, I think that they get Casey Kotchman to replace Lyle Overbay and Josh Willingham to replace Matt Diaz without giving up much. Of course it would suck if they gave up a couple of their overslot arms to get them and those guys wound up panning out but they have a lot of more promising pitching prospects and I think it's a safe bet that a quiet 1st round playoff exit or even a playoff push that falls a couple of games short would do more for fan interest, attendance (meaning revenue that can be spent on an extension for McCutchen) and the overall health of this organization than a couple of C prospects. It's already happened a couple of times this season where 1 ugly loss has made it seem like the season was about to collapse. I just don't think that should be the response today.