The Pittsburgh Pirates have finally done it.
After losing four in a row, they beat the Texas Rangers 1-0 in interleague action to attain their 82nd win of the 2013 season. This means the Pirates will finish with a winning record for the first time since 1992. For years, the Pirates were the Siberia of Major League Baseball. Indeed, when Clint Hurdle was hired to manage the Pirates after the 2010 season, I wrote that he had "the worst job in America" and that it was "a job even Mike Rowe wouldn't want." But the Bucs began to show promise in both 2011 and 2012, but had second half collapses in both years.
I'm sure the Bucs would have rather attained this triumph at PNC Park, but they'll take wherever they can get it. I'm also sure our own Paul Kengor must be stoked right now.
Rookie Gerrit Cole pitched seven innings of shutout ball surrendering only three hits and striking out nine batters. The only run of the game came in the seventh inning on a double by Bucs third baseman Pedro Alvarez off Rangers ace Yu Darvish.
As of this writing, the Pirates are one game back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. If the season were to end today, the Pirates would face the Cincinnati Reds in a one game playoff to determine the NL Wild Card.
But there are still 19 games left and anything can happen between now and the end of September. Can the third time be a charm?