Some are tweaking the Pirates for celebrating "too much" after clinching a wild card at Chicago last night. "Act like you’ve been there before."
The Pirates HAVEN'T been there before. The longer the wait, the better the party.
2B Neil Walker has been a primary catalyst over the last five games: 8/20, four home runs, six RBI. Walker went yard for the Pirates' first run last night.
Walker wants it. He came through. A Pirate from Pittsburgh. It hasn't been Walker's best season. But everyone will be judged by September and October.
P Mark Melancon blew it AGAIN. Melancon is no longer the closer. Can he even be the set-up man? Is it time for Tony Watson?
Last night was an odd situation. Given the advantage provided by winning the division, it would have been better for the Pirates had Washington beat St. Louis. Store the champagne for a night and be just one game back in the NL Central.
But, after 20 years of losing, why would the Pirates do things the easy way? Getting the last out at home plate was something out of a cheesy movie. 9-8-3-2.
Like Oakland GM Billy Beane once said: "My job is to get us to the playoffs. Everything after that is ****ing luck."
A one-game wild-card playoff is more likely to be decided by luck than any best-of series. But a play-one, somebody's-done date with Cincinnati (site to be determined) is almost certainly the path the Pirates must travel.
The Pirates need that game at PNC Park.
For the fans, it would be an eyewitness validation of how far the Pirates have come. The atmosphere will crackle regardless. Any venue would be electric for single-elimination. The last at-bat helps. The Reds have been in the playoffs two of the last three years. Would the Pirates first-timers be intimidated on the road, especially against a team that tries to intimidate them anyway?
A fair question. A question understandably ignored in the champagne drizzle of the Wrigley Field clubhouse last night.
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