Pirates clinch 20th straight losing season with loss to Reds

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Joel Hanrahan's blown save led to the Pirates' 82nd loss of the season.

The Pirates clinched their 20th consecutive losing season with a 4-3 loss to the Reds Sunday.

Most of the game had gone well. The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the third when Brandon Phillips and Wilson Valdez singled, Joey Votto hit a ground-rule double to knock home Phillips and Todd Frazier had an RBI groundout to bring home Valdez. (Votto's double came on a fan interference call when a kid in a Reds had grabbed the ball; he probably cost his team a run, albeit only temporarily.) But Wandy Rodriguez was very good in his last start of the year, striking out seven, and those two runs would be all he would give up.

The Pirates quickly tied the game in the bottom of the third. Votto's error allowed a runner to reach base, and Garrett Jones plated two with a homer to right. The Bucs took a 3-2 lead when Alex Presley doubled to lead off the fifth and Andrew McCutchen brought him in on a line drive to left.

Tony Watson and Jason Grilli were great in relief of Rodriguez in the seventh and eighth, but in the ninth, Joel Hanrahan left a fastball up for leadoff batter Xavier Paul to, uh, "hammer" to right to tie the game. Then, with two outs, Ryan Ludwick and Zack Cozart hit consecutive doubles to give the Reds the lead.

I don't feel like waxing poetic about this right now, honestly. 20 straight losing seasons! Oh my! Pirates fans have this moment every year, the moment where the streak of losing seasons reaches a number that's incrementally more amazing than the last. So here it is, 20. And in a season where the Pirates were once 16 games above .500. Drink it in, I guess.

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