The last month has been tough on our Pirates. Cutch has been slumping, Marte got hurt, the bullpen
has been roughed up, Walker hurt his finger, and McDonald is still trying to find himself. The Cards are
playing well. Atlanta has stayed hot, and the Dodgers are trying to buy a ring. Still the Bucco's, and their
19 straight losing seasons, are hanging in there, just one game back of the wildcard.
Now on paper the Pirates don't have a chance. They are 28th in OBP. They have a dismal stolen base
percentage of 56%. They can't throw anyone out either, just 11 of 116 runners have been gunned down.
The Cards have outscored their opposition by +120 runs, the Bucs +18. Yet the Pirate faithful continue
to go to PNC Park, just last night another sellout crowd.
So why are the Pirates about to go on a roll? One simple word, a word I believe in more than any other in
this life, and that word is FATE. I went to PNC this year, and despite losing 2 of 3 to the Cubs, I couldn't
help but look around and take in the faithful fans there. I have been to alot of ballparks over the years but
there are no better fans anywhere than the ones that go to PNC and eat their roasted almonds and Bucco
burgers and cheer on a team with such an awful past two decades.
This Pirates team is really a bunch of misfits that somehow fit as a team. You have Alvarez, the high draft
pick who is always trying to live up to the hype. Bedard, a cast away pitcher often hurt, no jinx, who was willing
to come to play in Pittsburgh. AJ, a guy who the Yanks wanted to get rid of so bad they are paying alot of his
salary. The Hammer bringing the heat. Grilli, who has found himself with the Bucco's. Garrett Jones, who the
Yankees wanted this offseason, having a solid year. Walker, the hometown kid whose dad asked Clemente
to go on his fateful flight but was refused.
I don't have any fancy stats here why the Bucs are about to make a huge run. They have played some
pretty sloppy baseball over the past month, but most teams will have that stretch at some point in the season.
Just the same I do see fate here, and it's going to kill me to not be able to be at PNC for the playoffs, but knowing
all of the people, especially the kids, that will fill the seats and have a blast rooting for their Bucco's, well a part of me
will be there just the same.