Pity the Pittsburgh Pirates.
On July 28th, the Bucs were 58-42 and were leading the NL Wild Card standings and only two games back of the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central. They had won eight of their last ten games.
Since then, the Pirates have been losing two out of three games compiling a woeful 16-33 record. Today, they lost a 9-7 heartbreaker to the Milwaukee Brewers in front of their home fans. The Bucs had a 7-4 lead into the 8th inning.
Their record now stands at 74-75. The Pirates haven’t had a winning record since 1992. Not only did it look like they would snap that streak but the Bucs front office issued playoff tickets. Now they might face an unprecedented 20th consecutive losing season.
Conversely, the Brew Crew are on the rise. On July 28th, the Brewers were 45-55 and had lost eight of their last ten games. They were 11 games back in the NL Wild Card standings and 15 games back of the Reds. Since then, the Brewers have gone 32-17 winning nearly two out of every three games. After what appeared to be a lost season, the Brewers have a legitimate chance at NL Wild Card berth. The Brewers are 77-72 and are presently tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers at two and a half games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot. As of this writing, the Dodgers are losing to the Washington Nationals 4-1 going to the ninth inning. If the score holds, the Brewers go up half a game on the Dodgers.
It’s amazing how the Brewers have gone on all eight cylinders since trading Zack Greinke to the Angels.
The Brewers, however, have to face the Nats and Reds in back to back series on the road before returning to Milwaukee to face the hapless Houston Astros and the San Diego Padres to end the season. The Astros have lost 101 games but could play spoiler and the although the Padres are a sub-.500 team, they have been 37-25 since the All-Star Break and could thwart the Brew Crew’s post-season ambitions.
As for the Bucs, they go on the road to Houston and to New York to face the Mets before returning to Pittsburgh to face the Reds and the NL Wild Card bound Atlanta Braves.
If a week in politics is a lifetime then the last two weeks of the MLB season can be an eternity.
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