The First Place Pittsburgh Pirates

It’s after the All Star Game and the Pirates are in first place… tied with St. Louis yet with fewer losses.

They are contenders. If the playoffs started today, they’d be in a one game playoff with St. Louis. Actually with the Reds come from behind win and Jeff Karstens shutout of Houston, the National League Central has become wonderfully bunched together. 4 teams are within 3 games of first place.

But this is the latest the Pirates have had even a share of first since July 17, 1997. But even that deserves a little asterisk next to it. They were in first place because the 1997 NL Central was so lousy. They had a .500 record in mid July 1997 and still were tied for the top spot.

So this is the best Pirates team since 1992…
First step is first. Change the culture and have a winning season.
If they go 34-37 the rest of the way, they’ll finish above .500.

But for right now, take a gander Pirates fans.
It’s late in the season… It’s 57% over.

And here’s what the standings look like.
Savor it.

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Hey Adam Wainwright. Now would be a good time to WANT that Cy Young

At one point Adam Wainwright looked like the Cy Young Front Runner…

He was 17-6 with an ERA of 1.99 on August 11 and it looked like a 20 win season and a sub 2.00 ERA were in his future.

Then it looked like he decided to make a conscious effort to hand it over to Roy Halladay.
He had been 1-5 since and his ERA has jumped up .51 points.

Now of course he is still in the mix for the Cy Young and some of his losses were tough luck losses.

But a big win here would go a long way. A nice domination of the Padres would land him win #19 and make his ERA closer to 2.00 than 3.00. And the fans would love him for it…

Not the Cardinals fans… GIANTS fans.

Giant fans have images of a Division Title dancing in their heads and the Padres going on another skid would go a long way to making that true.

So come on! It is fun to be loved. Cardinals fans will love you forever if for no other reason than clinching the 2006 World Series.

You can have San Francisco fans love you too and you don’t even need to change uniforms.

So come on, Adam. A Cy Young would look good on your mantle. Go for it tomorrow.

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It’s your move, Giants

In a very twisted way, I felt the Padres victory over the Rockies last night was the best thing to happen to the Giants.

Hear me out.

The Rockies were on fire on their 10 game winning streak and closing in on both the Giants and the Padres for the NL West.

Now of course if the Rockies had won, the Giants would be in first place by themselves going into tonight’s game with Los Angeles.

I am less concerned with where the Giants are on September 14th than where they will be on October 3rd.

And I would rather have the Giants going toe to toe with a wobbly Padres team than a confident “remembering 2007 and 2009” Rockies team. Call me crazy.

I also want that last weekend between the Giants and Padres to be for all the tuna fish.
I don’t want any scoreboard watching or have BOTH teams fall short.

So the Padres won last night.
The Giants are playing the Dodgers for the last 3 times of the season.

Focus on winning… and know there is also a series head to head with Colorado as well.

Worst case scenario if you win? You’ll be a game out in the loss column.

Earn your money, Zito.

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