Some great defense, timely hitting, and a missed call aided the Pirates to a win tonight, moving them over .500 this late in a season for the first time since May 29, 2004, nearly 7 years ago and the day after Rob Mackowiak has a monster day by hitting two big home runs in a double header sweep of the Cubs on the day his son (and my daughter) was born.
I couldn’t believe that the Pirates had only one day in my daughter’s almost seven year old life now in which they had a winning record on May 9 or later. As bad as they have been, I still can’t even grasp that. So I did some digging on baseball-reference.com to see what other milestones were out there and what might be next for this group of Buccos to accomplish.
The Pirates have a chance on Tuesday to move to 2 games over .500 this late in a season for the first time since May 11, 2002. But they won’t be able to enjoy that one for long, as in a couple of days, we won’t be able to use that instance for our ”this late in a season” barometer. By the time this series is over, the last time the Pirates have been 2 games over .500 “that” late in a season goes back even further, to July 2, 1999 when that Pirate team was 40-38 on their way to a 78-83 record. Almost 12 years to be 2 games over .500.
So, in other words, the Pirates have not been 2 games over .500 on May 12 or later in the history of PNC Park. And in a very related note, there were 11,000 (and change) people at the park tonight to see history be made.
Most of the other .500 related milestones were set that year as well.
Last time 3 games over .500 this late in the season: July 1, 1999
Last time 4 games over .500 this late in the season: June 18, 1999
Last time 5 games over .500 this late in the season: June 4, 1999
Last time the Pirates were 6 games over .500 this late in the season? October 4, 1992 when they ended the regular season 96-66 and were getting ready for the playoffs.
So what about at any point in the season? What is the high water mark for this franchise since Barry Bonds was our starting left fielder? 7 games over .500, when they were 12-5 on April 21, 2002. The day before and the day after were the only days at 6 games over .500 during the same time period. So yes, there has been one day since the end of the 1992 season when the Pirates were 7 games over .500 or better. That’s 4 games worse than the Cleveland Indians are today (11 over).
Something just feels very special about this team. If this pitching staff stays healthy, I think there is a chance we could see all of these numbers erased this year. Heck, a few of them could be gone by the time the Dodgers leave town and the team heads to face an arch nemesis at Miller Park (where I will be in attendance to watch the series in Milwaukee).
Just wait till this team starts hitting. Someone other than Garrett Jones and Neil Walker anyway. If Ohlendorf and Meek get healthy, and the pitching stays consistent, we could have a reason to watch baseball in Pittsburgh this summer.
In case you didn’t notice from all the hoopla about .500 and over .500 – there is another even more important number to worry about – 2.
As in, the Pirates are currently 2 games out of first place. When’s the last time that we’ve been in first place this late in the season? I hope I get a chance to research that one as well.
Category: Pirates News