Pirates’ Cinderella Run Comes to an End


McCutchen and Alverez with stong showings this season for the Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates finally had a winning season and participated in a playoff game for the first time in 21 years, but World Champions is something they will not be this year.

The Pirates’ season came to an end on Wednesday, as they were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 on the back of a complete game by pitching ace Adam Wainwright.  As Pittsburgh watched their boys finally meet their demise, one can’t help but look back on the incredible run the Buccos had.

The Bucs started the year off well, which was surprising to most Pittsburghers after the Pirates’ tragic fall from grace in 2012, finishing with a 79-83 record after being 16 games over .500 at one point.  The Pirates were the first team to reach 50 wins this year, and they did not disappoint throughout the season.

Everyone on the Pirates contributed this year, including All-Stars Mark Melancon, Jason Grilli, Jeff Locke, Pedro Alvarez, and of course Andrew McCutchen.  However, these stars overshadowed other players who had very important roles in the Buccos’ success this year.  Starling Marte hit .280 this year, and was arguably an All-Star Game snub.  Josh Harrison was clutch off of the bench, coming up big more than once late in games.  Russell Martin came over from the Yankees in the off-season, and, while his offensive productivity may have been down, he made up for it with all the runs he saved blocking pitches in the dirt behind home plate.  Andrew McCutchen is a potential Most Valuable Player candidate, but it wasn’t all him this year for the Pirates.

The Pirates finished the season 94-68, good enough to play in the Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Reds, who they defeated 6-2 backed by Russell Martin’s two home runs.  They took the Cardinals to the limit in the National League Division Series, but couldn’t pull it off. They lost game five Wednesday night.

Looking forward to the future, the Pirates hope to make some hefty acquisitions this off-season.  “The Bucs have the resources to go out and acquire some big-time major league talent,” said Jason Martinez in an article for Bleacher Report.  Whether or not they do is the real question.

Despite the loss, hopes are high for the Bucs in the future.  “It’s good knowing that we are the team that made the change in this franchise, not the team that lost again,” said Andrew McCutchen to MLB.com.  “This only feels like a beginning for us.”

Maybe that’s what all Pittsburghers need to take away from this season:  This was only the beginning.