On July 19 the Pittsburgh Pirates were 51-44 and held a half-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central. Today, on August 8, the Pirates are 54-59 and sit 10 games behind the first-place Brewers. That means they’ve lost 15 of their last 18 games.
Since beating the Atlanta Braves 5-2 on July 28, the Bucs have been swept by the Phillies in Philadelphia, and the Cubs and Padres at home. Yeah, you read that right, the Cubs and the Padres are included in that list. This weekend the Pirates dropped all three contests against the NL West’s cellar dwellers by a combined score of 35-10 (15-5, 13-2, 7-3). Yes, the Padres, a team that’s offense makes soccer seem high scoring, racked up 35 runs in a weekend series at PNC Park. This weekend’s debacle of a series ran Pittsburgh’s current losing streak to 10 games. Yeesh.
So basically right after we praised the Pirates for being good, they all of a sudden decided not to be. Around the time of that linked post, I started telling friends that if the Pirates actually managed to make the playoffs, I’d adopt them for October, since my beloved Padres will be well into golf-mode by then. Of course, Pittsburgh promptly began tanking. Call it the “Phillips Curse” since apparently none of the teams I pull for can manage to bring home a title.
As it stands now the Pirates stand a better chance of having every player on the team struck by lightning than they do of making the playoffs.* After a year in which attendance at PNC Park has been strong due to the team’s play, it’s probably a safe bet the Bucs don’t sell out again unless they bring back Huey Lewis for another concert.
Michael Keaton has to be so upset.
*Rough estimate, may not reflect actual statistical probabilities