Buc-Tober: Another Playoff Run for the Pirates

Buc-Tober: Another Playoff Run for the Pirates

Jarrett Bailey, Sports Writer

After one of the best regular seasons in franchise history, the Pittsburgh Pirates decided to take a more professional approach to this season. They didn’t throw a post-game party following the game in which they clinched a playoff berth for the third consecutive season. Rather, they realized there is much more to be done. The Bucos finished the 2015 regular season with a 98-64 record going into Wednesday’s Wildcard game against the Cubs. The game will feature two of the game’s best pitchers in Gerrit Cole (19-8, 2.60 ERA) for the Pirates and red-hot Jake Arrieta (22-6, 1.77 ERA) on the mound for the Cubs. Arrieta has been absoloutely insane since the All-Star break, breaking the all-time record for lowest ERA by posting a whopping 0.77. With Arrieta on fire, and the Cubs coming into Wednesday as winners of eight straight, making for an incredible show-stopping ball-game. The Pirates, though, have the home-field advantage after topping Cincinnati in the final game of the regular season. Now, with the season the Pirates have had, this team may be the best over the past three seasons. There rotation is so deep and maybe the best of the remaining teams. To go along with that, they have a very stable and balanced lineup as well. Pedro Alvarez clobbered 27 homers this season, Andrew McCutchen led the team in RBI and remains one of the games’ most exciting players. And with big games, there comes big talk. A twitter battle ensued following the news that the Pirates would be playing the Cubs in the friendly confines of PNC Park. A pirate fan tweeted out “Be ready for a sea of black #BlackOut #BUCN #crowdsGoingToEatYouAlive #walkTheplank @JArieta34” to which the star pitcher replied “Whatever helps you keep your hope alive, just know, it doesn’t matter. @Cubs.”No doubt this will be a game of pitching, as two of the great aces in the National League will put on a show in Pittsburgh. All of the hype aside, this is the year that Bucos fans look at as possibly being “the one”. Their rotation has been the focal point of this season, as the 6 pitchers they have started in their rotation have a combined ERA of 2.56. It’s run support that the Pirates will have to have throughout October if they plan on hanging another World Series Banner. In my mind, they are a team that is built and has the capabilities of winning a World Series. Overall though, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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