This shouldn't be news to anyone who has seen the Pirates perform in American League ballparks in recent years--the traveling portion of interleague baseball usually=bad for the Buccos.
And it should never be news to anyone when any baseball team suffers a three-game losing streak, it's probably going to happen again a few more times before the year is out.
However, what has been news over the past two summers is the Pirates playing fairly decent baseball in May, June and July and being at or near the top of the NL Central. Now that is something that hasn't happened around here since really the late 90's, and for a die-hard baseball fan like me, that means having to temper my emotions over the course of the season.
It is a cliche, but a 162 game season is a marathon and not a sprint. But for someone like me who hasn't experienced a real pennant race since 1997 (but really, 1992), I find myself living and dying with every win and loss, and you just can't do that in June. Back in the early 90's, when the Pirates were winning the NL East every year, I got used to the day-to-day grind of a season-long pennant race. If the Pirates lost a game or two on their usually hefty lead, I didn't worry too much because I knew that one loss (or three) wasn't going to kill their season.
But with the Pirates being almost completely absent from the playoff picture the past two decades, I'm totally out of pennant race shape. In the absence of any real baseball excitement around here in recent years, the Steelers have been my only source of fandom conditioning, and as most people know, an NFL schedule is more like a sprint than a marathon.
When the Steelers lose a game or two, it really is a big deal. Each NFL game represents about 10 MLB games, so a three-game losing streak for the Steelers would amount to, well, not even the Pirates could lose 30 games in a row, but you get my point.
You get high and low after every win and loss in the NFL because there are only 16 games.
If the Pirates remain in contention for the remainder of the summer, I need to condition myself not to get too high after every four-game winning streak, and not to get too depressed after every ugly sweep.
On the plus side, though, it's nice that I need to get back in shape for my Buccos.
Distance running is always good for the soul