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neil walker
The Pirates Are In First Place, The Pirates Aren’t In First Place
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The Pirates are in First Place, the Pirates aren’t in first place

Neil Walker watches as the ball soars over the right field fence

The Top

Another milestone reached for this year’s Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club. The Pirates reached the top of the NL Central for the first time this late in the season in over a decade. Esteban Loiza was with the Pirates with a 11-11 season in ’97 when they were in the lead at this point. I remember Loiza and remember him being a pretty decent pitcher, but this year’s staff aces would have to fall pretty far to not outdo him.

First to Third

The Pirates are five games over .500 and in a first place tie with St. Louis, ½ a game better than the Brewers. A day later and the Pirates lost to the stros and back to third place. First to 3rd in a day. That’s how it will probably be in the N.L. Central this season because it looks like the top 3 are pretty evenly matched.


Let’s not forget my most hated Division rival, the Reds too. My disgust at the Reds has to do with the natural rivalry that exists between the 2 cities sports franchises.

Reasons to not like Cincinnati

Pittsburgh does not like Cincinnati, there’s the Steelers against the Bengals, the Pirates against the Reds, Pitt against UC in the Big East and the Penguins vs. oh, Cincinnati is not big league enough to have a hockey team. I just don’t like any of Cincinnati’s teams.

The cost of being second

I really dislike them because the number of championships they have cost the Steelers and Pirates over the years. The Pirates were good enough to win at least one or two more in the 70’s and unfortunately they caught fire in 90 when the Pirates were favorites to go all the way and the Reds ended up winning the whole thing.

Head to head

The Division may come down to how these teams do against each other the rest of the season. Here are their records against each other this year and the amount of remaining games against each other.

Pittsburgh – St. Louis

W-L Remaining Games

2-1 9 Home 4 Away

Pittsburgh – Milwaukee

W-L Remaining Games

0-5 4 Home 6 Away

Pittsburgh – Cincinnati

W-L Remaining Games

5-1 9 Home 0 Away

Looking at these games it’s easy to see what the Pirates need to do against their main competitors right now, the Brewers and the Cards.

The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club needs to find a way to beat the Brewers, at least split the rest of their games. They have 10 games left and 6 of those at Milwaukee. That may be something the Pirates will look at very closely when deciding if they want to get another player for the second half. If they can find a player that may solve Milwaukee’s dominance against them that may be the key. Another key is how they play against the Reds. They have won 5 of 6 already against the Reds, and if they can keep anywhere near that ratio going it will go a long way in determining where they end up.

It’s great to be in the race at this point in the season and it will be even greater seeing these young Pirates compete the rest of the season. They’ve made it this far, let’s see what Neal Huntington can do to help this Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club out and bring a winning baseball team from Pittsburgh to the top of the NL Central.

Street Talk

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