I was at Wednesday night's game against Milwaukee, better known as the debut of Marlon Byrd. Pittsburgh was scuffling a bit and on a three game skid heading into action, but the fans were still abuzz over Tuesday night's trade that sent Byrd and veteran catcher John Buck to the Pirates. It turned out to be a great night at PNC Park, as Charlie Morton pitched an awesome game, going 6 2/3, with the Brewers' only run scoring on a Russell Martin throwing error.
But the real gem of the evening came in the bottom of the seventh, when Byrd smacked a three run bomb to turn a 4-1 Pittsburgh lead into a 7-1 laugher. I've been going to Pirates games since the early 80's, and when Byrd's bomb cleared the centerfield wall, I don't think I've ever celebrated as enthusiastically. It was a great site to behold and take in--and that pretty much sums up the entire 2013 season.
Regardless of how the 2013 season officially ends, years from now, thousands of fans are going to have rich memories of what took place this summer.
It's just one of those years that seems surreal and out of a fairy tale. Right now, on September 1st, the Pirates are tied with St. Louis for first place in the National League Central Division, with the Reds just 3.5 games back. In past years, I'd be having a hard time sleeping at night, but this season, with an added wild card and no team closer than 9.5 games of it, I'm not sweating as hard about what figures to be a division race that comes down to the final weekend in Cincinnati.
Will it hurt if Pittsburgh doesn't win the division and loses the wild card game? Absolutely, but that's all part of being a fan, and that's why I'm taking it all in, every single pitch and hit. And you better believe I'm going to celebrate whatever postseason berth this team eventually clinches.
I can't believe I'm using "postseason berth," "eventually clinches," and "Pirates" all in the same sentence.
What a great season.
Let's Go Bucs!